$3 million in gifts to aid Boston's Way Home fund
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced in his speech to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau that Partners Healthcare, Suffolk, and Liberty Mutual have each given $1 million to the Boston's Way Home Fund, totaling $3 million to help Mayor Walsh's effort in ending chronic homelessness in the city of Boston.
Announced in his second inaugural address, the Boston's Way Home Fund, a partnership with Pine Street Inn, has a set goal of raising $10 million over four years, with funds being used to create 200 new units of supportive, sustainable, long-term housing for chronically homeless men and women.
"In Boston, we are committed to making sure that every person has a place to call their home and build a better life, and the Boston's Way Home Fund will help do just that," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank Partners, Suffolk, and Liberty Mutual for stepping up and helping their community by tackling chronic homelessness. I encourage everyone to learn more about the Boston's Way Home Fund, and invite organizations and individuals to join us as we move closer to our goal of ending chronic homelessness in our city."
Partners Healthcare, Suffolk, and Liberty Mutual join Bank of America, which launched the fund in January 2018 with a leadership gift of $250,000.
"The leaders of Mass. General, Brigham Health, and Partners HealthCare are supporting Mayor Walsh's vision to end chronic homelessness because accessible housing and services are the single most effective way to improve the well-being of homeless individuals," said Peter Slavin, President of Massachusetts General Hospital. "The Mayor's plan is among the most important strategies we can deploy to improve the overall health of the Boston community."
"Suffolk is an organization that prides itself on making a positive difference in our local community," said John Fish, Chairman and CEO of Suffolk. "By creating an additional 200 units of affordable housing in the City of Boston, Mayor Walsh's Boston's Way Home Fund is a wonderful way to give back and help our most vulnerable neighbors in a time of need. We are excited to play a role in ending chronic homelessness, and look forward to seeing the success of Boston's Way Home."
"We applaud the Mayor's deep and long-term commitment to ending homelessness," said David Long, Liberty Mutual Insurance Chairman and CEO. "By investing in this partnership, we're paving a way for people who are homeless today to gain a sturdy foundation, so they can move onto promising futures. We're very hopeful that our gift will get Boston one step closer to ending chronic homelessness."
"All of us at Pine Street Inn are very grateful to the Mayor for starting the Boston's Way Home Fund," said Lyndia Downie, President and Executive Director of Pine Street Inn. "We want to express our deepest thanks to Bank of America, Partners Healthcare, Suffolk, and Liberty Mutual for their help in getting the fund started and helping to end homelessness in Boston."
While traditionally mayors and mayors-elect raise private funds for inauguration celebration costs, Mayor Walsh instead encouraged organizations and residents to learn more about the city's work to end chronic homelessness, and consider becoming involved in Boston's Way Home. Mayor Walsh's personal message from Inauguration Day can be found here.
In his January 2016 State of the City address, Mayor Walsh announced Boston had ended chronic veteran homelessness; to date, nearly 850 homeless veterans have been housed. In 2016, the City scaled up its efforts to end chronic homelessness; since January of 2016, 425 chronically homeless individuals have been housed, representing more than 3,000 years of homelessness ended.
Since its implementation, Boston's Way Home has also resulted in a complete redesign of the way Boston offers services to homeless individuals. Rather than counting on shelter as the solution to the issue, Boston has moved toward a housing-first model, where an individual's entrance into the shelter system is also their entrance to a path toward permanent, stable housing.
Creating new permanent supportive housing is an important component of Boston's Way Home, the City's plan to end chronic homelessness. Permanent supportive housing combines subsidized rental housing with individualized support services so that people with complex issues can receive the assistance they need to stay housed. The services are designed to build independent living skills and to connect people with services such as community-based health care, help with mental health issues, substance use counseling, and employment services.
By definition, chronically homeless individuals have barriers that create challenges to remaining housed. These barriers can include physical disabilities, substance abuse issues, and mental health issues, among others. Without additional assistance, some chronically homeless men and women are not able to maintain their homes.
To learn more about Boston's Way Home, click here.