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New Program Offers Potential Motel Homeless Relief

The Board of Selectmen held a special meeting on Aug. 23 to discuss the significant increase in homeless families in Danvers this summer.

Beth Hogan, executive director of the North Shore Community Action Program (NASCAP) presented details of a new program, "Home Base," in conjunction with the Lynn Housing Authority, at the special

Funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Home Base, which officially rolled out on the first of July, will allow NASCAP to move people from motels into permanent affordable housing. 

"Our ultimate goal this year is to empty the motels in Danvers," Hogan said. Over a period of 12 months the goal is to move 15 to 20 families per month from motels into permanent affordable housing. 

Harry McCabe, the regional administrator for the Lynn Housing Authority, is currently working with landlords in Lynn, and potentially in other North Shore communities, to create transitional housing. Once families personal situations have been assessed they will then be able to work on permanent affordable housing, based on different needs. 

"It's not going to stop homelessness," said McCabe, of the new program. "But if we can stabilize, our goal is to empty your hotels. I personally am committed to that."

Hogan noted that while "Home Base is new to us as a model, we've been doing this work for many years." 

Pam Parkinson, director of Senior and Social Services for Danvers said she is "cautiously optimistic" about the Home Base program, saying that the situation is "a much greater problem than what we have come to fully grip."

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