Thanks to the efforts of Ward 5 School Committee member Marcony Almeida-Barros, Everett High School (EHS) will once again receive critical grant funding to help students who need housing assistance.
The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA), a nonprofit public policy advocacy organization dedicated to ending homelessness, has presented EHS with a $25,000 grant to help students who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. This follows two similar grants negotiated in each of the past two years. The grant was officially presented to the School Committee by EPS Chief Financial Officer Anu Medappa Jayanth on Monday, September 21.
“We started this as a pilot project three years ago,” said Almeida-Barros. “EHS was the first high school in Massachusetts to implement such a program. I’m delighted and profoundly thankful to see the success of this program, leading to higher graduation rates among those students who participated. This has been so successful we have been funded for a third year. I want to thank the Mass Housing and Shelter Alliance for their support. It shows that housing stability, along with careful case management conducted by the Everett Public Schools, pro- vides students in housing crisis with the tools they need to overcome these financial obstacles and graduate.”
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. This year’s grant funds may be used to help students with rent, emergency housing, and food.
MHSA focuses on transforming the traditional emergency response to homelessness into a system that prioritizes best practices and long-term solutions. MHSA’s advocacy, rigorous data evaluation and innovative program development demonstrate that providing permanent housing with supportive services is in the best interest of homeless individuals, government and society at large.