Homelessness Task Force

The objective of the NABB Homelessness Task Force (HTF) is to increase understanding about homelessness and promote effective prevention and treatment programs through public education and advocacy.

You are invited!
A joyful gathering of neighbors and friends, featuring hearty fall fare, cocktails and a wonderful silent auction to benefit the civic work of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay and the services of the Women’s Lunch Place.
A chance to visit the Women’s Lunch Place and get an introduction to their their extraordinary services in our very own neighborhood while celebrating autumn in Boston with friends.
Location :  The Womens Lunch Place, 67 Newbury St, Boston, MA
Get Your Tickets:  https://womenslunchplace.org/nabb

150 people joined us in person and on line at the Copley Branch of the Boston Public Library!
Increasing Affordable and Supportive Housing to Reduce Homelessness in Our City and State
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Boston Public Library Copley Square
Moderated by:  Shirley Leung,
Columnist and Associate Editor, The Boston Globe
Welcome from David Leonard, President, Boston Public Library
Panelists included leading contributors to Affordable and Supportive Housing efforts including:
Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing & Director, Mayor’s Office of Housing
Matthew Pyne, Director of Housing Programs, The Pine Street Inn,  Joined by a Pine Street Inn Job Training Participant, Boston Resident with Lived Experience
Joyce Tavon, Senior Director of Policy & Programs, MA Housing and Shelter Alliance.
Chanda Smart, CEO, OnyxGroup Development, LLC
Gianna Gifford, The Boston Public Library

Joint Forum sponsored by NABB Homelessness Task Force and the Boston Public Library took place on November 30, 2021
Increasing Housing Affordability in Boston:    Why it Matters to Us All

Panelists included the following City of Boston civic and business leaders:

•Thomas N. O’Brien, Former Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Former Chair of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, and CEO of HYM Investment Group, LLC
•Kenzie Bok, Boston City Councilor, District 8
•Symone Crawford, Incoming Executive Director (January 2022), Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA)
•Sheila Dillon, City of Boston Director of Housing and Neighborhood Development

Key takeaways are:
* Housing costs in Boston have increased in large part due to strong business growth over the last 10 or so years without a match in resources for affordable housing development. Only a small percentage of Bostonians currently own rather than rent homes.
*The historic effects of zoning discrimination and “Redlining” have contributed to a great disparity in home ownership between whites and persons of color. This has created a major barrier for people of color to build generational wealth.
*Without new building in Boston, there will be no affordable residences for low- income individuals, seniors on fixed income, many people of color, and front- line workers such as nurses and firefighters.
*Mayor Michelle Wu and her staff are planning to soon release an ambitious plan to increase Boston’s housing affordability. Finding land is a challenge but the city is looking at currently owned structures to perhaps build on. Meanwhile, until more housing is in place, rent relief programs will be needed to keep evictions at bay and maintain housing stability in the city.
  *Innovative solutions and additional public support and advocacy are needed to efficiently address the shortfall in Boston’s affordable housing. Any delay in construction increases building costs and waiting times for persons in urgent need. The delays then lead to health and other problems emanating from housing instability which then require other public interventions.

Click HERE to listen to Gianna Gifford, Chief of Adult Library Services, tell the HTF about the impressive services the Boston Public Library has in place to address the needs of the homeless community in Boston.

Homelessness in Boston Fact Sheet

City of Boston 42nd Annual Homeless Census 2022
City of Boston Homeless Census 2019-2022

Information, Ways to Help, Resources to Learn More
Fast Fact:  The Permanent Supportive Housing Model
Fast Fact:  Domestic Violence and Homelessness
Fast Fact:  Homeless Veterans
Fast Fact:  Homelessness is a dangerous health condition
Fast Fact:  Food Insecurity during the Pandemic
Fast Fact:  Foster Care and Homelessness
Fast Fact:  The Women’s Lunch Place
Fast Fact:  Boston’s Challenge in a Pandemic

Past Pre-Covid Events
Homelessness in Boston Forum, Boston Public Library, Jun 17, 2019
          Agenda and Speakers
          Boston Sun, June 2019:  Homeless officials urge community to “be a partner” at NABB forum

Women’s Lunch Place and NABB Homelessness Task Force join forces at fundraiser, Nov 13, 2019
         Boston Sun, Nov 2019:  Braving the cold in support of Womens Lunch Place

Permanent Supportive Housing:  LEARN MORE!

Recently in the News
The Preventive Effects of Housing First on Health Care Utilization and Costs Among Chronically Homeless Individuals
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation looked at MassHealth claims between 2004 and 2017 of almost 700 people placed in permanent supportive housing. That data was compared to a control group of the same number of people who were still experiencing homelessness and had similar demographic and medical characteristics as the “treatment” cohort. Expenditures by MassHealth, the Medicaid program administered by the state, were 17% lower for people in the first year they were housed ($25,614 per patient on average) than for the control group living in shelters and on the streets ($30,881), according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation report.

Resources for More Information

  1. Local Services Supporting the Homeless in Boston and Massachusetts
  2. Organizations Advocating for the Homeless Population
  3. Answers to Some Questions and Ways to Learn More
    a.  What Causes Homelessness?
    b.  What is the ‘Housing First’ Approach?
    c.  The Growing Challenge of Family Homelessness.  A very detailed but readable summary prepared by Westat (consultants) for The Boston Foundation, 2017
    d.  Basic Facts on Homelessness and Housing in Massachusetts
    e.  Evictions in Boston:  The Disproportionate Effects of Forced Moves on Communities of Color. A report by City Life/Vida Urbana and MIT, 2020.  This report provides rigorous research, systematically analyzing who faces evictions in Boston.
  4. Essential Reading:  A book list that will educate and inspire.