ERIC Number: ED466519
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec-20
Reference Count: N/A
The Road to Nowhere... Barriers Facing Families in Search of Shelter.
This study describes obstacles Massachusetts families face in accessing emergency shelters when the system is underfunded and the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) seeks to deflect families' entry into shelter. The study presents data, interviews, and observations recorded over 7 months at the Boston Family Housing Office. Results indicate that shelter applicants with nowhere to go are being turned away from DTA's Boston Family Housing Office despite their eligibility for the shelter program. Many homeless families are not eligible for shelter under DTA rules. Families with limited English proficiency are often unable to access the shelter program due to a lack of translators and language-appropriate materials. Shelter clients are not informed of their rights and responsibilities once they gain access to emergency assistance. Almost all families approved for shelter are placed far from their home communities, often in shelters or motels inaccessible by public transportation. The DTA relies on motels to house homeless families because shelter space in Boston and surrounding communities are full. Recommendations include: DTA should begin tracking the number of families deemed ineligible for shelter and the reasons for denials, and state programs should focus upon homelessness prevention. (SM)
Descriptors: Child Welfare, Emergency Shelters, Family Needs, Homeless People, Housing Needs, Limited English Speaking, Welfare Services
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, 300 Congress Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02210. Tel: 617-423-9162.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Boston Foundation, MA.
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Boston, MA.
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts (Boston)