COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
SENATOR LOVELY CONDUCTS SITE VISITS TO DANVERS HOTELS
(Boston) On Monday morning Senator Joan Lovely conducted site visits to two hotels in Danvers with employees from state and local agencies to further examine Massachusetts’s practice of placing homeless families in hotels and motels. Senator Lovely was accompanied by Representative Theodore Speliotis along with representatives from the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the state Department of Children and Families, North Shore Community Action Programs, Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development, and staff from Wellspring House.
“By visiting these hotels I’ve gotten a much deeper look at the state’s Emergency Assistance program,” said Senator Lovely. “This is a complex issue, so I’m appreciative of the time that representatives from the state and non-profit organizations spent speaking with me. The families in these hotels are in incredibly difficult situations, and this program needs to be focused on rapid rehousing.”
Senator Lovely visited both the Econo Lodge and Extended Stay hotels in Danvers. At both locations, she spoke with state officials and nonprofit organization leaders to learn more about their collaboration to support the homeless families living in hotels and motels. Senator Lovely and Representative Speliotis listened to families share their personal experiences with homelessness and the challenges they face while trying to pursue affordable and permanent housing.
As part of its Emergency Assistance program, DHCD utilizes hotels and motels to supplement its shelter system. DHCD’s Division of Housing Stabilization administers the Emergency Assistance program and, according to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), is charged with the mission of preventing homelessness, sheltering those for whom homelessness is unavoidable, and rapidly re-housing the homeless in stable, permanent housing.
According to the EOHED’s Division of Housing Stabilization, as of January 13, 2014, 2,093 families reside in hotels and motels across Massachusetts. As of January 7, 2014, 182 homeless families, including over 300 children, were sheltered in hotels and motels in Danvers.