Departmental Papers (SPP)

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This paper explores the current opportunity for policy reform of the Emergency Assistance (EA) system in Massachusetts. Recent initiatives by the state are described that have provided a context for systems change. Some of the challenges posed by the current program are discussed, particularly the lack of cost containment, and the resulting fact that significant public resources are spent supporting long-term stays in shelters and motels, which are not good for families or children. After an exploration of funding and resource issues, the paper concludes by establishing the foundation for changing the current system into one that would be outcome oriented, driven by the objective of housing stabilization and serve families in a more timely, effective and efficient manner.


Suggested Citation:
Dennis P. Culhane and Thomas Byrne. 2010. "Ending Family Homelessness in Massachusetts: A New Approach for the Emergency Assistance Program"


homelessness, housing stabilization



Date Posted: 14 July 2010