The only words I have for this is “more mean-spirited cuts, more balancing the budget on the backs of the powerless who are already crawling”.
Here is a quote that really says it all:
By reducing those eligible for shelter, Kehoe said the new regulations would save the state $520,000 this fiscal year and more than $11 million in fiscal 2010. “Given our limited resources, we wanted to encourage people to find housing or stay where they are, rather than encouraging them to come into the system,” she said.
As it is, Massachusetts has gone from zero homeless children to 1000 in a year, placed with a parent in a shelter or a motel.
These new rules cut the time a family can stay housed after earning more than $1532 a MONTH for a family of two from six months to three – that’s right – you are on the street if you get a job and cannot find an apartment you can afford in three months. And if you earn more than $1500 a month, and have only one child, you qualify for nothing.
Or you refuse a placement for a reason an authority figure considers not “good cause”. I remember a client of mine, who was moved from one placement to another with her kids and refused it, because the windows had bars on them and that triggered her PTSD. Not “good cause”.
Actually, part of why I really like Judge Gants is that I did a Temporary Restraining Order on that decision and he kept her in housing [and yes, that was pro bono…I would say for every hour in a court appointed case that is eligible for payment two or three hours are not eligible for payment – part of why the average “bar advocate” bills about 800 hours a year].
Here is a link to the whole story: http://www.boston.com/news/loc…
THIS is not what I expected from a Deval Patrick administration, frankly.
Like the decision by the Administrative Office of the Trial Court to eliminate the role of Guardian Ad Litem for Education without any warning, this action regarding the homeless, of changing regulations to save money just because no one has the power or ability to protect these poor people is morally wrong, and mean spirited.
No one is homeless on purpose. Making poverty more punitive will not make for less poverty.
Read the whole article. Does anyone agree this set of changes is shameful?