Episcopal City Mission Blog

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ECM Partners with the Drawing Democracy Project

This year Massachusetts is in a unique position. We will lose a congressional seat due to changes in our population. How the redistricting process is carried out not only determines a community’s next elected official, but will shape decisions at the state and neighborhood level for a decade. It is imperative that all Massachusetts residents have a voice in determining how they will be represented.

The goal of the Drawing Democracy Project is to:
  • To promote a transparent and accountable redistricting process
  • To empower communities by creating fair voting district
ECM along with 10 other partners and funders recently awarded 13 grants for training, technical support, and community organizing to achieve these goals.

Click here for a list of grantees.

To learn more about the Drawing Democracy Project please visit the website of Access Strategies our partner in this project.

Monday, March 21, 2011

ECM supports Mass Rental Voucher Program

Continuing in the work to end homelessness in Massachusetts, ECM has again joined the Housing Solutions Campaign to support the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP). This program provides low income families, elders and people with disabilities with assistance in paying rent. ECM has supported this program since its inception and will continue to do so until we see an end to the homeless crisis in this state.

The current request for this year's budget is for $38.2 million for the program. This funding will preserve the current 5,000 households that are utilizing a voucher to remain housed. If we were to lose some of these vouchers, we would see another spike in homelessness, something that the state can not afford and we can not morally stand for.

Currently the state is housing over 6,000 homeless families and individuals in shelters and motels, and the numbers are continuing to rise. The average cost of an MRVP is $600 per month while the average cost of shelter is $3,000 per month! We know that these families and individuals want to be in their own homes, rather than in a shelter, and we believe it is our moral obligation to support programs that will keep them there. Please support us in this work.

To learn more about MRVP and to see a list of supporting organizations click here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

ECM, along with 21 other organizations, support's Governor Patrick's plan to end family homelessness with the Housing First Movement.

In our continued efforts to end family homelessness, ECM joined forces with 21 organizations to support the Administration's Emergency Assistance Reform for the Housing First Movement.

The current system is not working and significant changes are needed to end family homelessness in the Commonwealth. This new Housing First Response Plan is a step in the right direction!

The reform plan reduces the emphasis on motels and shelters and increases investment in flexible housing assistance. This proposal would decrease reliance on shelters and increase families' access to flexible homelessness prevention and housing stabilization resources.

We need to keep families in their homes. We need to stop the madness of spending $160 million on non-housing solutions (hotels/motels).

We recognize that not every provision of the plan will satisfy all stakeholders but are confident we can improve the plan to allow for regional flexibility for the housing assistance cap, customizing housing assistance and stabilization services, and supporting interim housing placements.

We are also confident that the legislative and administrative process will be flexible enough to allow for thoughtful changes and not hinder final passage of the Administration's plan.

SUPPORT THE HOUSING FIRST MOVEMENT so we can End Family Homelessness!

For more information, read the Emergency Assistance Reform Fact Sheet

Save the Date: Annual Meeting June 7, 2011

Keynote speaker The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop the Episcopal Church

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