Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District


May 27, 2016

 Senate Budget Includes New Home Works Program for Children in Shelter

(Boston) – During its budget debate on Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously adopted an amendment filed by Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem) to establish the Home Works Program.

The Home Works program will provide opportunities for children in the emergency housing assistance program to attend out-of-school time and summer programming at youth serving organizations. A youth serving organization shall apply to contract with the department of housing and community development to receive contract slots to serve children in the program.

“This idea started after working with families sheltered in hotels and motels in Danvers, and I’m so glad to see this program funded in the Senate budget so it can be a resource to children and families statewide,” said Senator Lovely. “Given the location of these shelters and motels, many children may not have access to quality environments to socialize, be active, or simply complete their homework. This program would resolve this issue for many homeless children in Massachusetts.”

“This has been a collaborative effort and I want to thank the YMCAs and Boys & Girls Clubs for their partnership and their willingness to step up and take action to support children in shelter,” said Senator Lovely.

While the number of families in hotels and motels in Danvers has declined over 63% in the past year, more than 4,300 school-aged children were sheltered through the statewide emergency assistance housing program as of March 2016.

The amendment included $400,000 in funding for the new program and had twelve co-sponsors. The amendment was adopted on a roll call vote with 37 members voting in favor and none opposed.

The funding for the program still remains subject to the approval of a House and Senate conference committee. The committee will reconcile the differences between the House and Senate proposals and report a compromise bill to each branch for a final vote of acceptance.