2017 Fall Harvest Friendraiser

Join us on October 11th to learn about our recent projects to expand Access to Justice and the status of our Keep Kids in Class project.


Action Alert

Months ago, Governor Baker ELIMINATED line item 4000-0007 in the 2018 state budget – which allocated $675,000 in funding for homeless youth.The Governor’s reasoning? That this amount was “too small to be effective.”

While $675,000 may seem “too small” for Governor Baker, these are necessary funds that could prove life-saving for homeless youth. It could mean the difference between safety or danger, between food or hunger. Homeless youth can’t wait.

So why should we?

Join us and take action TODAY! Here’s what you can do:

  • Call or email your legislators to invite them the legislative briefing organized by the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless to restore funding for homeless youth on September 19th
  • If your legislators have already sponsored the legislative briefing, be sure to thank them for their support.
  • Attend the legislative briefing yourself and RSVP here.

We need you to stand up today and tell Governor Baker that we will not leave homeless youth behind. Be sure to forward this email to as many people as possible and spread the word!

Click here and voice your support to override the Governor’s veto and fund critical services for homeless youth!

Thanks to you and your tireless advocacy over the course of this year, we have won many important legislative and budget battles. Please join us for one last chance to make sure homeless youth receive this essential funding in the FY2018 budget.

Thank you for your continued support.

Want to stay informed on the latest issues Massachusetts Appleseed is working on?
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Action Alert

The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have both finalized their initial FY18 budget proposals. Now the fight moves to the Budget Conference Committee, in which six members are tasked with working through the differences between the House and Senate budget recommendations on a variety of issues. Here’s a quick reminder about where things stand for the 3 budget areas that are a priority for MA Appleseed:

Housing Courts

Thanks to Senator Spilka’s leadership, the statewide Housing Court expansion (line item 0036-0003) was included in the final Senate Budget proposal. Neighborhoods under attack from gentrification and families threatened with eviction need access to a housing court. District courts simply do not have the resources or expertise necessary to protect the 31% of Massachusetts residents currently without access. We cannot allow the recent traction gained on the housing court expansion to slip away. It is critical that the Conference Committee adopt Outside Sections 121-135 to enable the expansion of the Housing Court and $1 million in line item 0036-0003 to fund that expansion.

Civil Legal Aid

Low-income people experiencing civil legal problems are not eligible for court-appointed attorneys – they rely on civil legal aid programs. These programs are essential to the safety and stability of low-income individuals and families. Without it, low-income residents of Massachusetts will face crises in such areas as housing, employment, health care, immigration, and domestic violence. Due to a lack of funding, legal aid organizations are forced to turn away 64% of eligible people in need of help. The House and Senate both recommended $20 million in funding for MLAC (line item 0321-1600). We must ensure this vital funding is adopted by the Conference Committee and included in the legislature’s final FY18 budget.

Homeless Youth

Line item 4000-0007 funds services for unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults aged 24 and younger. The Senate budget includes $2.5 million in funding for these services, $500,000 more than the total FY17 spending and $1.96 million above the House FY18 recommendation. The Conference Committee will be in charge of reconciling that difference and deciding on a final number. Let them know that you support investing in these indispensable services for homeless youth!

The important work of these programs critical to low-income families and homeless youth can only continue if the Conference Committee provides adequate funding!

Contact the conferees directly to ask them to:

  1. Adopt Outside Sections 131-135 in the Senate budget to enable the expansion of the Housing Court and $1 million in line item 00036-0003 to fund that expansion;
  2. Include $20 million in funding for civil legal aid via the MLAC line item 0321-1600;
  3. Adopt the Senate’s higher proposed funding level of $2.5 million for services for homeless youth (line item 4000-0007). Additional funds will help to ensure that more young people can be served.

The conferees are meeting RIGHT NOW and will continue to meet throughout the month of June to finalize the Legislature’s recommendations for the 2018 fiscal year that will begin on July 1st so it is imperative that you ACT NOW!

The House conferees are:

The Senate conferees are:

Want to do more? Ask your State Representative and Senator to weigh in with the conferees in support of the housing courts, civil legal aid, and unaccompanied homeless youth TODAY!

Not sure who to call? Click here!

One call can make the difference. Please join us and stand up for justice for all and services for homeless youth.

Want to stay informed on the latest issues Massachusetts Appleseed is working on?
Sign up for future action alerts.