Thanks to the dedication and compassion of a School Committee member and the generosity of an advocacy group, Everett High School (EHS) has received a grant to help students in need of housing assistance. The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA), a nonprofit public policy advocacy organization dedicated to ending homelessness, has presented EHS with a $30,000 grant to help identify students who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. The program will be administered by the EHS Guidance Department and the Parent Information Center located at City Hall.
Ward 5 School Committee Member Marcony Almeida Barros organized a meeting between MHSA President/Executive Director Joe Finn and EHS Guidance Director Kathleen McCormack, which led to the establishment of the grant program.
“When I learned that nearly 200 students in our district don’t have a place to call home, I was heartbroken,” Almeida Barros said. “I worked with Mr. Finn, the EHS Guidance Department and our Parent Information Center to bring in funding to mitigate the situation. I’m thrilled and thankful that MHSA heard my call for help. By working together, this $30,000 program will greatly assist our students and families who are in a housing crisis. My goal is to work on a long-term solution, and I will only rest when all of our students have a safe place to call home.”
The goals of the project are to help students achieve immediate housing stability and improved educational outcomes, including decreased absenteeism, improved school grades and higher graduation rates. The grant funds may be used to help students and their families with rent, emergency shelter, food and transportation.
The partnership between EHS and the MHSA was formally introduced to the Everett School Committee at the regular meeting on Monday, January 7, 2019.