Council Urges Mayor Fiorentini to Spend More on Homelessness

Haverhill Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan.

The Haverhill City Council Tuesday night backed a call to restore federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for shelter services, including homelessness intervention, to Emmaus, Inc.

Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan brought the matter to light during a presentation on homelessness in Haverhill prior to a “Tree of Love” lighting at 6 p.m., tonight, at the Emmaus family shelter, 150 How St., as part of the organization’s fundraising campaign. Sullivan asked the city allocate more CDBG funds to support Emmaus, which he said has “transformed lives and build community for the past 30 years.”

“Many years ago we were able to give Emmaus about $60,000 a year in CDBG monies which were used to help offset expenses for the men’s shelter known as Mitch’s Place. I was informed that this stipend has been cut substantially to just $7,000 this past year. At a time when homelessness is on the rise, it doesn’t make sense to be slashing our annual contribution to Emmaus,” Sullivan said. “Think about what our city would be like if not for Emmaus’s great work over the past 30 years. Haverhill would be a different place today and not necessarily the great city that it is rapidly becoming.”

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Under federal rules, spending of the city’s allocation of nearly a million dollars from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is entirely at the discretion of Mayor James J. Fiorentini. A Community Affairs Advisory Board makes recommendations to the mayor.

According to Sullivan, Emmaus has served 3,650 people, including 2,229 children.

“Emmaus is home to more than 300 adults and children every single night. They helped 84 families move out of the shelter and into their own apartments. And Emmaus staff diverted another 293 families from entering shelter by helping them retain or find new housing,” Sullivan said.

As WHAV reported, Emmaus’ annual Tree of Love Campaign kicked off yesterday during “Giving Tuesday.” For a minimum $10 donation, donors may dedicate a light on the tree that stands in front of Emmaus Family Shelter, 150 How St. Lights can be dedicated in honor of, or in memory of, loved ones and friends.

5 thoughts on “Council Urges Mayor Fiorentini to Spend More on Homelessness

  1. 94 million people OUT of the workforce. Now, what is the REAL unemployment rate again ? Let’s do some simple math here…..300 million people are eligible to work…..take 90 and divide it by 300 and you have your REAL unemployment rate. Yes it;s a great economy according to those who can;t do math !

  2. Yes, when illegals are given preferential housing before our own people, we end up with a shortage of housing for our own homeless. We reap what we sow, and our politicians are looking to import more illegals. Makes no sense when one considers the state of our economy and when we can’t take care of our own people.

  3. “At a time when homelessness is on the rise” –

    Of course it is because the real economy, not the one politicians and their enablers live in, is a complete disaster. Incomes continue to decline while politicians tax/fee The People into economic oblivion. Home ownership, thanks to bad policy, bad decision making (on all sides), and massive fraud destroyed 40% of the economy and sending home ownership levels back almost 25 years. Thanks in part to massive crony capitalism in Massachusetts and an absence of an equal rule of law, the rate is worse than the national average thanks to a nation leading high in income disparity – that’s politicians fault. They prefer to put their political ideology and other people’s money over that of sound math and accounting principles.

    Poverty in general is on the rise in Massachusetts, including a whopping 1 in 5 children in this state growing up in poverty. Since Haverhill is a relative poor city, it’s quite conceivable it’s worse than the state average. Great job Brian Dempsey and the rest of your crony political brethren on Beacon Hill. I’m sure the poor and huddled masses thank you for the cake you serve them.

    Of course no conversation in Massachusetts in regard to homelessness and poverty can go without the discussing the usurpation of federal policy. A policy which Beacon Hill Legislators ignore which states that recipients of social welfare, including housing, must provide Social Security Numbers in order to receive said benefits. Massachusetts ignores this requirement which allows illegal invaders to go ahead of Americans/Massachusetts Citizens/Veterans.

    Too bad Mayor Jim would never have the guts to tell Brian Dempsey and friends, like Linda Dean Campbell and Kathleen O’Connor-Ives, that monies meant for Americans, especially homeless Americans, should not be used to support invaders, dragging down our entire social welfare safety nets meant for our fellow Americans. No, he’s to politically partisan for that.

    Let’s call it what it is – Tyranny.