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FBMS receives state funding in support
of transformative Quincy development
Non-profit organization’s Housing Resource Center model will revamp approach to homelessness
[QUINCY, Mass., April 1, 2021] Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS), a regional leader of services to prevent and end homelessness, has received $4 million in state funding toward the first phase of its innovative Housing Resource Center (HRC) development in Quincy.
Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito made the announcement on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 during a press conference outside of Father Bill’s Place, which is FBMS’ current emergency shelter for individual adults in Quincy. The Baker-Polito administration announced a total of $13.7 million in capital funding and project-based vouchers to support seven affordable housing projects for vulnerable communities across the state. In addition, the state announced $5 million in capital grants to 28 communities, including Quincy, under the Housing Choice Initiative.
Other speakers at the event included Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano of Quincy, State Senator John Keenan of Quincy, Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, and FBMS President & CEO John Yazwinski. They were joined by state and city officials as well as local housing advocates, FBMS staff and shelter guests.
FBMS’ HRC model aims to transform how the agency assists individuals experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness by replacing its existing overnight emergency shelter with two new buildings consisting of a new day center, an emergency shelter, and on-site efficiency apartments. The new approach would dedicate more staff and resources to homelessness prevention, diversion and rapid re-housing, thus reducing the overall reliance on overnight shelter.
The HRC will be constructed at 39 Broad Street, located across the street from Father Bill’s Place. The existing shelter, a one-story, 7,000-square-foot building, will be knocked down as part of the City of Quincy’s plans to build a new Public Safety Complex.
“We want to end homelessness, not manage it — and the Housing Resource Center will move us closer to that goal.” said FBMS President & CEO John Yazwinski. “The HRC is a solutions-based, proactive approach that meets individuals further upstream in their housing crisis. By investing in day services that re-house homeless individuals more quickly and prevent more people from entering shelter, we will lower public costs, reduce reliance on shelter beds and downtown spaces, and provide our neighbors in need with stability and a pathway to self-sufficiency.
“Thank you to the Baker-Polito administration, Speaker Mariano and the Quincy state delegation, and Mayor Thomas Koch and the Quincy City Council for supporting this innovative approach. Together, our community is taking a leap forward in our fight to end homelessness, Yazwinski added.
The state’s Department of Housing and Community Development is awarding $4 million to the HRC.
“In 2018, our administration signed the largest affordable housing legislation in Massachusetts history, and we have worked hard to invest in the production and preservation of thousands of affordable units in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Thanks to our partners in the Legislature and local leaders, we are ensuring that supportive housing remains a key component of our broader strategy to increase production.”
“Permanent supportive housing provides necessary services to our most vulnerable populations, and I am so proud that we have invested in the development of hundreds of units of this type of affordable housing across the Commonwealth available to the families and individuals that have the greatest need,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Every project in today’s round will result in housing with tailored services that will create an environment that will allow people to thrive.”
Between the seven projects announced Wednesday, DHCD, working with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), will make available approximately $2.6 million in National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) funding, dedicated to households at 30% area median income or less; $10.7 million in state bond funds through the Housing Innovations Fund (HIF) and the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF); and 57 state project-based housing vouchers to qualified and experienced sponsors. CEDAC, which manages HIF, works closely with DHCD to administer these rounds and review applications for funding.
“Solving our housing crisis requires housing production of all types, including permanent supportive housing for veterans, older adults, people in recovery, and individuals with disabilities, as well as shelter beds for those experiencing homelessness,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Kennealy. “Thanks to this innovative partnership involving DHCD, the city of Quincy, elected officials, and Father Bill’s & MainSpring, the vision of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable among us with a state-of-the-art facility is closer to being a reality.”
“Our team has worked closely with incredible partners like CEDAC to invest in projects that will meaningfully help a diverse set of people who can thrive with support and housing they can afford,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “Our department has been committed to keeping our investments in housing development on track. Our housing crisis began before our current health crisis, and I am proud we’ve been able to continue funding the development of new affordable housing in every region and pass important zoning reform to make it easier for communities to promote housing at the local level.”
The first phase of the HRC, set to start later this year, is the construction of a two-story, 16,000 square-foot building comprised of FBMS program and training spaces, shelter beds and services, administrative offices, and a healthcare clinic. Other features include a commercial kitchen space, showers, a laundry area, bathrooms, private meeting space, and a large convertible space to be used for multiple activities, including dining.
The second phase is a four-story, 20,000-square-foot building comprised of 30 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals. Tenants will have access to FBMS case managers who will help them remain housed and become more self-sufficient. FBMS currently manages more than 550 permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals, families, and Veterans across Southern Massachusetts.
In September 2020, FBMS signed a 99-year-lease with the City for the site at 39 Broad Street, a key step in the HRC development. The City of Quincy has awarded $1 million to the HRC from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and it has successfully applied for a Housing Choice Community Capital Grant for design and engineering work.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the longstanding issues that our cities and towns have faced, such as homelessness,” said Speaker of the House Ronald J. Mariano. “The grants awarded today will support organizations that serve our most vulnerable residents and provide them with a path to safe, stable and dignified housing. The Massachusetts House is proud to support the work of the awardees and provide opportunities for them to expand their services. I am proud to have worked alongside the Quincy delegation to help secure this grant for Father Bill’s, and look forward to seeing the positive impact their future facility will have in our community.”
“The Supportive Housing award, coupled with local funding from the City of Quincy, allows Father Bill’s & MainSpring to move forward with its multi-use facility, which represents a new, more comprehensive approach towards preventing homelessness in southern Massachusetts,” said Senator John Keenan, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing.
“Father Bill’s & MainSpring are an invaluable resource and advocate for our community. Their innovative work in not only providing stable housing, but also in their efforts in intervention and prevention work are critical to our community members facing homelessness,” said Representative Tackey Chan. “This grant money will make their new facilities a reality and allow their work to be more broad-reaching.”
“The innovative Father Bill’s & MainSpring Housing Resource Center is going to be a life-changer for so many of our most vulnerable community members in the City of Quincy,” said Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch. “I’m proud to partner in this endeavor, and deeply grateful to the Baker and Polito Administration for once again seeing the value in a such a vital local project by granting it a National Trust Fund Supportive Housing Award.”
“Congratulations to the non-profit organizations receiving these supportive housing funding awards. Their work is so necessary to providing housing and services to truly vulnerable populations across the Commonwealth,” said Roger Herzog, the Executive Director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). “CEDAC values our effective collaboration with the Baker-Polito Administration and its Department of Housing and Community Development and its strong commitment to the production of supportive housing through the eighth annual funding round dedicated for this purpose.”
About Father Bill’s & MainSpring
Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) is the leading provider of services to prevent and end homelessness in Southern Massachusetts. The agency, founded in the early 1980s by a group of interfaith and community leaders, helps more than 6,700 people annually who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. FBMS, a proud partner of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with administrative offices in Quincy and Brockton and program offices throughout Southern Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.helpfbms.org.