Incorruptible Mass

Homelessness -- Covid-19 and Homelessness: How Massachusetts Has Fallen Behind

December 22, 2023 Anna Callahan Season 5 Episode 33
Homelessness -- Covid-19 and Homelessness: How Massachusetts Has Fallen Behind
Incorruptible Mass
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Incorruptible Mass
Homelessness -- Covid-19 and Homelessness: How Massachusetts Has Fallen Behind
Dec 22, 2023 Season 5 Episode 33
Anna Callahan

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Today we talk about the new regulations around shelters. We go into how Covid has affected homelessness as well as legislation to make things easier for a lot of the people who are homeless today. And of course, we will be exploring some of the deeper values that we share here among the listeners of our podcast and the underlying fundamental problems of why we even have homelessness.

Kelly Turley joins Jordan Berg Powers, Jonathan Cohn, and Anna Callahan to chat about Massachusetts politics. This is the audio version of the Incorruptible Mass podcast, season 5 episode 33. You can watch the video version on our YouTube channel.

You’re listening to Incorruptible Mass. Our goal is to help people transform state politics: we investigate why it’s so broken, imagine what we could have here in MA if we fixed it, and report on how you can get involved.

To stay informed:
* Subscribe to our YouTube channel
* Subscribe to the podcast (
* Sign up to get updates at
* Donate to the show at

Show Notes Transcript

Please donate to the show!

Today we talk about the new regulations around shelters. We go into how Covid has affected homelessness as well as legislation to make things easier for a lot of the people who are homeless today. And of course, we will be exploring some of the deeper values that we share here among the listeners of our podcast and the underlying fundamental problems of why we even have homelessness.

Kelly Turley joins Jordan Berg Powers, Jonathan Cohn, and Anna Callahan to chat about Massachusetts politics. This is the audio version of the Incorruptible Mass podcast, season 5 episode 33. You can watch the video version on our YouTube channel.

You’re listening to Incorruptible Mass. Our goal is to help people transform state politics: we investigate why it’s so broken, imagine what we could have here in MA if we fixed it, and report on how you can get involved.

To stay informed:
* Subscribe to our YouTube channel
* Subscribe to the podcast (
* Sign up to get updates at
* Donate to the show at

Hello and welcome to Incorruptible Mass. We are here to help all of us transform state politics because we know that we can have legislation and a state legislature that truly represents the needs of the vast majority of the residents of our beautiful state. And today we have a wonderful guest and we are going to be talking about homelessness.

We will talk about the new regulations around shelters. We'll also be talking about the background of right to shelter here in Massachusetts. We'll be going into how Covid has affected homelessness as well as legislation to make things easier for a lot of the people who are homeless today.

And of course, we will be getting into some of the deeper values that we share here among the listeners of our podcast and the underlying fundamental problems of why we even have homelessness. So stay tuned. But before we get to all that, let me quickly have my co hosts introduce ourselves before we get to the main exciting guest that we have.

So I will start today with Jordan Berg Powers. Jordan Berg Powers. I'm in Worcester, Massachusetts, and I'm very excited about this conversation. My first internship was on homelessness deal with the unhoused. So excited to have the conversation. 

And Jonathan Cohn.

Jonathan Cohn. He/him/his joining today and always from Boston and have been active in electoral and issues campaigns in Massachusetts for a number of years. And so happy to have our guest today.

And I am Anna Callahan. She/her coming at you from Medford. I’m a City councilor and very involved in local and state politics for the last few years. So I am so excited to introduce Kelly Turley.

And Kelly, if you would, go ahead and tell us a little bit both about yourself and about the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. 

Great. Thank you so much for having me.My name is Kelly Turley. I use she her pronouns. And I'm the associate director at the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless.

The coalition is a statewide direct service and advocacy organization based in Lynn. We do work across the state with families, youth and individuals experiencing housing instability and homelessness. A lot of our work is helping families and individuals who are at risk of homelessness get connected to housing and resources, but we also spend a lot of time at the State House and doing organizing work to make sure that the state has the building blocks to help people avoid and exit homelessness.

So really focusing on access to long term affordable housing resources, improving homelessness prevention benefits, and making sure that there's a safety net for families and individuals if they are experiencing homelessness. And is there.

 Do you have any sort of stories about how you got into this work? I've been at the coalition for over 20 years.

Before starting at the coalition, I worked at Rosie's Place in Boston, and before that in Philadelphia, not too far from where Jonathan's from, at the St. Francis Inn soup kitchen and outreach programs, and was really rooted in community there and looking to do more on the systemic change side. So we saw so many people who were without housing, didn't have enough food, and wanting to change the systems, and then moved to Boston to go to graduate school at Boston College.

And right after graduation, I started at the coalition, and I’m really grounded in the belief that housing is a human right and that we're making choices on the policy side to not let people have access to those resources. So looking to change the system, our work is really focused on Massachusetts, but connecting at the local level and working with groups around the country as well on larger systemic change. Can you tell us about what you are calling the family homelessness crisis? Yeah.

So Massachusetts has a decades long crisis related to housing affordability and access. And so that's not something new. But over the past several years, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of families in the state's family shelter program, which is known as emergency assistance, or EA.

And the number of families in shelter at any given time is really just a small portion of those families that are experiencing homelessness because of the definitions that are used and the eligibility criteria. So families really have to be extremely, extremely low income, had to have absolutely no place else to go, couldn't have been evicted for non payment of rent from a subsidized unit, and on and on. So when we look at the families that are eligible for shelter, they have absolutely no other place to go and meet very strict eligibility criteria.

But even with that narrow criteria, we've seen the number of families just since the start of this calendar year more than double. And in the past couple of months, in conversations with the legislature and the Healy administration, that there have been a lot of questions around how much longer the state could continue to provide shelter to all eligible families. And so we're at this inflection point where there are new limitations in place around which families can access shelter when.

And so we've been doing a lot of organizing work to try to keep the state grounded in the belief that, at a minimum, we have to provide that safety net of shelter to families and children. We also believe for younger, unaccompanied youth, older adults, unaccompanied adults, the whole range of people should have access to housing and to shelter. But specifically because there is this framework of providing shelter to families with children we want to make sure that we don't go back on that promise.

 And can you talk a little bit about that right to shelter? And it sounds like your organization actually had a lot to do with it getting passed in the first place. What is right to shelter?

Yeah. So in the early 1980s, advocates and providers and people who were experiencing housing instability and homelessness came together to form the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. And our first legislative victory came in 1983 with the passage of Massachusetts Right to Shelter Law, chapter 450 of the acts of 1983, for those who are curious.

And it was legislation really championed also by Governor Dukakis at the time to make sure that children and families had a safe place to go. Massachusetts before then had a number of individuals unaccompanied, adults experiencing homelessness, and that was something that was more visible. But in the early 1980s, we started to see more families with children.

And so the state set up the family shelter system, which grew from just a few providers that are contracted with the state to dozens and dozens covering the whole commonwealth. Yeah. As far as homeless.

Yeah. Go ahead. Quickly jump into the question.

Recently, if folks were following the legislature in the end of the formal session of this year, people probably saw news coverage about family shelter and how that was becoming a key kind of dividing point between the House and Senate in negotiating a final supplemental budget. Can you give people an update about where do things stand now on that as a legislative matter and what all is still necessary to do, considering that, as most legislative observers know, things rarely are fully finished at one time, or whether it's just because, whether something is incomplete or that there's a lot more work to be done to fully address an issue. Yeah.

So the family shelter program every year gets supplemental funding almost without fail because they start the year and it's underfunded. And there's a sense like, well, let's see how many families really need it, and then we'll come back and we'll readdress it. But this year, from the very start, there was a sense that it was the highest level of funding ever, but it was still just a fraction of the need.

And that was obvious, but not necessarily how big the gap was between the initial appropriation and what was needed. And so in September, Governor Healy filed a supplemental budget request, which has been characterized as requesting $250,000,000 for family shelter. But that was actually a combination of funds to provide shelter to families with children, as well as reimbursements to cities and towns for educational expenses.

For the increasing number of students experiencing homelessness and to provide wraparound supports for newly arrived immigrant families. So it was a mix of resources related to family homelessness. And the supplemental budget did sit in the House Ways and Means Committee for several weeks.

There were a lot of questions that not just the House had around how the funds would be used and what was the longer term plan. And that was something that was challenging as advocates and providers to try to extract that information from the Healy administration. But then it was getting closer to the November 15 deadline, and the funds weren't allocated.

And the administration said, well, we're going to move forward with a waiting list for shelter. We cannot add any more shelter units beyond 7500. And this was the first time there was ever a waiting list established.

And what we said, well, that's an artificial number. You still have money. You will need money in the coming months, but you have money today.

And let the legislature have the process play out. The line item requires the administration to give 90 days advance notice if they're making any eligibility restrictions or benefit reductions. They did not give that 90 days notice.

They said, we filed this up like you knew we needed money, and we're going to implement this waiting list on November 1 on or around. And so it was really a fundamental shift. For 40 years, Massachusetts has honored this right to shelter for the narrow families list of families that meet the criteria.

But this was the first time. So then there was a lot of organizing with the legislature and pushing on the administration to hold off on creating a waiting list and to wait till the supplemental funds were appropriated. Those funds were signed into law at the beginning of December, but that still leaves an estimated gap of, I believe, $224,000,000.

The administration says that they'll still need to get through the rest of FY 24, even with those supplemental funds. And that's still with this cap of 7500 families in effect. So it's a very large line item in comparison to many housing and homelessness programs.

But we're currently serving, the state is serving over 7500 families in more traditional shelters. And the supplemental budget does require the state to establish at least one overflow site so that families put on this waiting list have at least someplace safe to stay in the meantime. And that's something that we believe should be in effect for all families placed on a waiting list, not just a select few that can fit into one overflow site.

Yeah, and just a little bit of sort of context around why so many more people, families you're talking about specifically, but I assume others as well, are now becoming homeless. How did Covid affect homelessness around the state and the funds and the withdrawal of funds, and how did this whole thing happen so that this year there was like a sharp increase? Yeah. We saw many families, especially at the start of the pandemic, who were losing jobs, losing income, at risk of eviction.

We were really grateful that the state legislature moved in and declared an eviction moratorium, and that was really critical to keep people safe and in place, especially during a public health emergency. And then we were grateful for the federal government supplying hundreds of millions of dollars in relief funds that could be used to help families and individuals pay for back rent, to pay for forward rent. Those were really critical tools to keep people safe during the pandemic.

But as the moratorium was lifted and as those relief dollars were spent down, we started to see more and more families being evicted, experiencing homelessness, in need of shelter. At the same time, there was also a dramatic increase in the number of newly arrived immigrant families coming to Massachusetts, also meeting the criteria for access to shelter. So it was both more long term Massachusetts families experiencing homelessness, in need of shelter and newly arrived immigrant families.

And the administration estimated that if they didn't put the cap in place, that there would be about 13,500 families in shelter by June 30. So the numbers are increasing dramatically. We started the year at about 3600 families in shelter.

Wow, 3000 to 13,000. Yes. And so, as I said earlier, this is just a fraction of families and individuals experiencing housing instability and homelessness.

We're not counting all of those families that are in double up situations with family members or friends, have someplace that they can stay, even if it's very inconsistent, those families would not be eligible for shelter. So the housing crisis goes much further than the family shelter crisis that we're discussing. But it does give a sense that if the number of families that would qualify for shelter would quadruple in one fiscal year, it gives a sense of what the larger housing and homelessness situation is across the commonwealth.

Yeah, I'll just say really quickly, we own a three decker, and we brought in some young folks who just got put out by their parents because of stuff, and they weren't considered because they were going couch to couch to couch. Right. So they're not eligible, which is just like none of us would.

How many of us know those situations? Lots of them. There's so many more people out there who could benefit from some sort of more strategic and thoughtful. And luckily for us, we had a space at the right time when somebody asked us friend to friend to friend, but we have to turn people away.

We're like, well, we rented that place out, and for a while, rent is a relative term, but our rent is low. I don't think anybody's paid a full rent in our house for a long time. And it's half as much as across the street from us.

And so we're seeing displacement, and we charge half as much as our across the street, which is owned by a big developer. And so there's so much displacement in Worcester, and Worcester is the most affordable place. Like, you're not finding more affordable cities in Massachusetts.

So I just think this is just the tip of the iceberg. But I wanted to put a human side to it. They didn't qualify.

Right. They were trying to find housing. They were trying to find, they all had just turned 18, so they weren't available for the teen shelters were queer folks.

Right. So it's just like, there's so many people that fit that story. So to have 13,000, it's just such a big number considering how they weren't considered.

Right. I think that's what I'm trying to say. So many of us know people with couch surfing, doubling up on beds, sitting on couches at night awkwardly.

They don't qualify for that number. They're not showing up in the reporting. And by the way, speaking of reporting.

Right. There's a new reporting that's coming out. Yeah.

So as part of a supplemental budget language, every two weeks, administration and finance, the executive Office of Housing and Liberal Communities has to report to the House and Senate committees on ways and means with data on the number of families in the shelter program, the number of families that are newly arrived, immigrant families in the shelter system, how many of those families have work authorization to work in the US, and some other data points, as well as what is the plan going forward? There's a separate report that's required by the supplemental budget that's due on or before January 1. That will also include how many families have been applying for shelter above that 7500 family cap that was set by the Healy administration, how many families are on the waiting list, and what services are being provided to those families on the waiting list in the meantime. So we're really eager to see that report, hopefully in the next week or so.

Yeah. I do want to dig in a little bit, though, because I think right before the show, you're saying that some of the number, about half of the families that are seeking shelter are folks who have recently arrived. I want you to say it in your own words, but can you tell us a little bit about some of the, just demographically, who is it that is seeking this family shelter? Right.

So it is a mix of longer term Massachusetts residents and newly arrived immigrants. Primarily, we're seeing a large number of families that fled Haiti and Venezuela, then a broad range of countries, but predominantly the families that are settling in Massachusetts and are qualifying for shelter have fled Haiti. And some of know it took them many years to make it to the US after leaving Haiti.

But for the past year or two, that's what we're seeing, a very large increase in the number of children and families, pregnant individuals looking to access state funded shelter. And we work closely with refugee and immigrant organizations across the state because initially the state response under the Baker administration was almost to provide separate and unequal services to newly arrived immigrant families. And there were families staying in Boston Medical center, in hospital emergency rooms, and they weren't getting access to shelter.

So we're seeing a softening. We're seeing the Healy administration say that families, because they have legal status in the US, that they should qualify for shelter. So part of it is families that were here who weren't getting access to services in the past are now being counted, but also that the number overall is increasing.

And there are attempts to make sure that we're not just warehousing families in shelter, that there are opportunities for long term housing resources, job training, education, supports, immigration, specific resources to help people more permanently settle here in the. That, you know, we have seen the number increase. The Healy administration said last week the numbers have gone down slightly.

In terms of new applications, we haven't seen the data. We can only see how many families are in shelter on a given day. But because they have this cap of 7500, the numbers are hovering around that mark.

But we are tracking the number of families on the waiting list, which has been going up since the waiting list first went into effect on November 11 or November 10. Yeah. So how about the new.

You've got some legislation that you're pushing for that has to do with making it easier to get IDs. You want to talk about that? Yeah. We do work around range of populations of people experiencing homelessness.

But over the years, we've seen a disproportionate number of young people who are experiencing homelessness out on their own without a parent or guardian. And many of them don't have identification. They don't have their birth certificate, they don't have an id card.

And it really makes it challenging to apply for housing, to get a job, to enroll in school, to pick up a prescription, to get a library card. Basic life functions are really challenging if you can't prove your identity. And we see the same with unaccompanied adults experiencing homelessness as well. So we've been working over the past four legislative sessions to pass really basic legislation that would provide no cost mass ids to individuals and youth experiencing homelessness and to make it easier to prove that you're a Massachusetts resident, even if you don't have a permanent address.

So if you're working with a nonprofit or a state agency, that they can vouch for you. And here you've been here in Massachusetts and that we want to give you access to this basic identification card. When we first worked on the legislation, there were some concerns in the House side in the legislature that Massachusetts maybe wouldn't be compliant with the federal Real ID act, and we're able to clear that up.

This is just a basic Mass ID. This is a standard Mass ID. Nobody's going to be able to get on a plane with this ID.

But the bill has passed the state senate four sessions in a row, unanimously, each time. So we try to emphasize like this is obviously the makeup of the Senate is changing, so we can't say if we needed to file it again, what would happen. But it's something that other states.

In the meantime, since we first filed the legislation with former senator Harriet Chandler, Representative Jim O'Day, Worcester delegation has been really strong on this. We're working this session with Senator Robin Kennedy of Worcester, Representative Kay Khan of Newton, Rep. Jim O'Day of West Boyleston.

So the Senate version of the bill was passed unanimously this summer. It's waiting action in Houseways and means. The House versions of the bill are in the joint committee on transportation, but we're really hoping that we've addressed all the concerns and that this is something that can move forward.

It's a small piece of the puzzle, but so meaningful for the people that we've been working with who've said, what have the barriers for not having an id. And once they've been able to get access to ID, whether that's because a nonprofit or a community group is able to give them the money or help them prove their residency, how their life was able to change. And so for something that's extremely low cost, we've said this is just, a lot of our requests are in the hundreds of millions of dollars, that this is something like maybe for $25,000, $50,000 we could really make a dent in making sure that residents of Massachusetts who are experiencing homelessness have an ID.

Just, I want to put a point, because we sometimes can talk a lot without actually connecting the dots. So the past four sessions in a row in the Senate did not pass in the House. Unanimously in the Senate could not get passed in the House.

Okay. And the one thing I just wanted to emphasize here, which I think is kind of demonstrated so clearly by this, is that there are so many things that many people just take for granted as a part of their kind of everyday life that those who are kind of, let's say, struggling the most don't have access to. And if you don't have access to an ID, somebody who's, let's say, like, struggling with housing instability and in poverty, it makes it all the more difficult to get out of poverty.

Because it's kind of like the catch 22 situation, that if you want to apply for a job and every job requires you to have an id to apply for it, but you don't have the money to get the ID because you don't have a job, you're kind of trapping people in an unfortunate cycle where something simple like this that, as you noted, is very low cost to do, can have really meaningful benefits for people. Yeah, Jordan, I know you wanted to chime in a little bit here. Do you want to jump in? Yeah.

Sorry, I wanted to talk about something else, but I also just want to say that it's such an easy thing, and it's frustrating that we can't get easy things like this for folks. This is not something that, I mean, other states have done it. It's not the hardest thing in the world.

And it would just be such a game changer for people at the margins. And it's just frustrating that we can't do this. And it is weird to think that we might get it because of the right wing attacks on voting, that if we get sort of, you need to show id to vote, then they'll then, by definition, have to provide it.

And it's this sort of like, lack of just forward thinking that I'm just thinking about, why does it take such terrible things to happen for them to react when they could just easily do this with almost no, really no effort at all? It's so non controversial to give people who are homeless opportunities to get things. It also just helps people who are unhoused become unhoused. Right.

Having an ID allows you to move through getting things. It's so much easier but what I wanted to say also is just really quickly just a value set. So I think a lot about the way we think about and the way that it gets talked about, especially in the media, for folks who have sort of immigrated here or are refugees here who have come through some pretty harrowing experiences, as I've mentioned on this podcast many times, Worcester is a refugee resettlement community.

And we are lucky for that. We have people from, I mean, one, because the food is fantastic at Worcester, for this reason, we can get spices from all sorts of amazing places. And two, people who have, people who have gone through harrowing stories are often some of the bravest and most amazing people.

I have Iraqi people, neighbors from across the street who I get to talk to, especially as their English has improved, because they are always improving. And I don't know, I can barely learn a language, and they're learning a language at older ages and sort of managing with. So, you know, I just think about their stories and how much it remembers other people's stories, the bravery to leave your home to travel and just their image of America as this place, this really is a beacon for a lot of folks of hope and opportunity.

I want those people as my neighbors. And not only that, but they're amazing. Know I want to get out of.

I think you can be careful. You don't need to be a perfect person. We don't need magic, like sort of a magic Negro thing.

We don't need, like magic immigrants. Everyone deserves, regardless of who they are, deserves a house, deserves opportunities. And some of the folks who are coming, certainly my neighbors who I've talked to, are just some of the most amazing folks.

And they get talked about, like, especially in the media, there's this perception of poverty as lesser than or not quite fully there or not humans who need extra help. And I think really what we're saying is give people some housing and let people thrive, and they will thrive. That's the thing.

And I think that's the piece that's missing from the conversation. Folks don't want to live in temporary housing unhoused. They want opportunities at this big beacon of light that had draw them bravely away from whatever terrible circumstances, perversed horrors that those of us take for granted on a regular day.

Not having a place, a house over your head, that's a horrifying idea that you have to be up at night. And they've done that. And so I think thinking about just the way the media talks about them, the way popular people talk, the way our legislature talks about them.

I just wanted to transform that a little bit to think about. There are some really incredible people who just need us to give that opportunity in and opportunities to thrive and let's integrate people. Because I tell you, for my community, man, does it get amazing.

Food is amazing, people are amazing. You can go down the street in the summertime and you can play Domino's six different languages on, I think, four different continents.

That's an incredible thing. We should just be reframing how we talk about the problem of the situation and the opportunity to have these people in our midst. Yeah.

One thing I want to bring up before we close, I always want us to be thinking big picture, to be thinking about what are the fundamental reasons why things like this happen. And you know, like any market system, the way that you choose how to make the most profit is you make the sale at a price point where some people can't afford it. That's just the way that you are able to make profit off of things like, that's the market, the way the market works.

And when we have a pure market driven, for profit driven housing sector, what that means is that it is by definition, we're pricing it so that some people cannot afford to have a house over their roof over their heads, they can't afford to have a home. And that, to me, is just unconscionable. We should reject that as a system because of that predictable, unavoidable outcome.

And I know, Jonathan, you also were talking about like studies that show this and all that. So I'm going to hand it over to you to close this topic out. But before that, on the spirit of handing over the mic, Anna, do you want to do belated midroll? Thank you so much.

You know what, gang? I always forget to do this, but we bring a lot of voices to your ears, faces, to your screens that you will not otherwise hear. We need to build the progressive media in Massachusetts, and we are doing our best to bring those voices here and to bring them to you. And we encourage you.

You get the link below. You can just donate what you can. If this is worth the price of a newspaper, then you can do that.

If you have a little bit more to donate to us, that would be amazing. Keep us going so that we can continue to bring these voices to you. And I will now hand it.

Thank you, Jonathan, off to you. Yeah. The point that I just wanted to make, that kind of, it's underscoring kind of a point that you are saying there is the connection between the housing crisis and the rise in homelessness that I feel like people often forget when discussing homelessness, that at the end of the day, the biggest cause of, like, the cause of homelessness is that people don't have homes.

And the way to solve the problems around homelessness is by giving people homes. And the reason why people don't have homes is going to be because that they can't afford it. And as we've seen studies that show that linkage, we continue to see new studies all the time about how rents in Massachusetts are completely out of reach for many people.

Too damn high. Exactly. There was a piece in the Globe recently about, I'm kind of talking about the history of rent control in Massachusetts.

That was talking about, like in greater Boston, how you pretty much need above median income to be able to afford rent in Massachusetts, not be rent burdened in Massachusetts. Sorry. Like in greater Boston, as well as in other places around the state.

And that as that housing crisis worsens, the number of people who are either housing insecure or without housing is going to worsen. So just wanted to invite Kelly, if you wanted to comment anything about that, about how to address the housing crisis. That really does overshadow everything when it comes to the situation of homelessness in the.

I mean, I think something that we always try to remind legislators and other community members is that Massachusetts has pretty consistently had the third least affordable rents in the country. The national low income Housing Coalition does a report each year out of reach. And so when we're thinking about why are more people losing their housing, why can't people retain their housing, why can't people exit homelessness, it is because it's not a level playing field.

So we need to make policy changes to allow communities to bring back rent stabilization, rent control. We need to invest in new development. We need to preserve our existing housing resources, including state funded public housing.

But we also really need to invest in homelessness prevention. Any family or individual that's losing their housing now, the housing that they're going to move to is either going to be more expensive or is going to be in worse conditions. There'll be more overcrowding.

And so we know what we need to do, and we're not necessarily doing it yet. So we need to build that political will to be able to really get to the roots of homelessness and housing insecurity here in the commonwealth. And we're hopeful that being able to channel, like, there's a lot of attention on what's happening in terms of family homelessness.

But how can we move to some of those solutions in a way that doesn't leave anyone behind. Yeah. Is there anything that people, listeners, watchers can do to help the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless or any other homelessness groups to help us through these difficult, know I mentioned we do direct work with families and individuals, but we also do a lot of legislative advocacy.

We have our Legislative Action day coming up at the state house on Thursday, March 7. So we hope you'll join us.

We have more details there, but weighing in with your state representative, your state senator, weighing in with the governor's office, it really does make a difference, sharing your expertise, your own story, your values and what you want to see our elected officials do in terms of how they're addressing homelessness, because what we've seen is that a lot of the instincts are to shut people out of the system and not provide what's needed and kind of choose that easy path. We're grateful that there have been leaders at the state House to kind of push back against that tide. But we know that in the coming weeks and months, it's going to be more challenging to make sure that basic needs are met and that we really are moving forward to uphold that right to housing.

So encourage all of the watchers and listeners to get engaged in the legislative process and hope to see you at the state House in the coming year. Thank you so much. And thanks to all our listeners.

Thanks for everything. We hope everyone has a fantastic holiday season and we will chat with you all next year.