Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton recently provided a $45,000, three-year grant to Quincy Community Action Programs (QCAP) to help prevent homelessness for local at-risk families and individuals.
The grant, through the hospital’s Community Benefits Program, will help support QCAP’s Housing Program which works to secure and stabilize housing for renters and homeowners, thereby reducing the number of homeless individuals and families.
The program, through the agency’s Strategic Prevention Initiative, utilizes Homeless Prevention Specialists to help provide landlord negotiation/mediation, fair housing counseling, emergency rent payments or resolution of lease compliance issues. QCAP’s Housing Program serves nearly 800 households annually.
The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, completed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, showed that homelessness in Massachusetts grew by 14.2 percent from 2017 to 2018. That increase, which equates to 2,503 people, was the largest in the nation.
“This generous grant from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton will allow QCAP to prevent evictions in households with tremendous needs, thereby helping to reduce homelessness, “said Beth Ann Strollo, chief executive officer of QCAP. “The need is great and growing. Our agency answers about 250 calls a month from individuals looking for housing assistance. We’re thrilled to have additional resources to focus on this issue.”
Safe and affordable housing is considered a “social determinant of health” which seeks to create social and physical environments that promote good health. Social determinants of health are based on the belief that a person’s overall health is also determined, in part, by access to safe and affordable housing as well as social and economic opportunities. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has made improving the state’s social determinants of health a priority.
“Addressing Social Determinants of Health is a key priority of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton’s community health programming,” explained Richard Fernandez, president of the hospital. “The growing rate of homelessness in the state is a well-documented problem with tremendous health implications. We are fortunate to be able to partner with a highly respected agency like QCAP to help address this issue locally and make a positive difference in people’s lives.”