Robert Repucci, the Executive Director for Community Action Progams Inter-City, Inc. (CAPIC), confirmed this week that it appears a key program to assist residents and families facing eviction or foreclosure will be funded, following the release of a state budget by the House and Senate conference committee last week, which included a provision for $175,000, sponsored by Revere Representative Kathi-Ann Reinstein in the House budget, to fund the program in Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.
“It’s not a done deal yet, we’re still awaiting the Governor’s signature, but we’re hoping that the governor will sign the budget this week and not veto that portion of it,” said Repucci.
Repucci explained that the funding in question is aimed at helping people who are facing homelessness by either allowing CAPIC to help them stay in their home or apartment or, when needed, by helping them find alternative housing and avoid the expensive hotel/motel placements that the state often reverts to when shelters are full.
“It is far cheaper for us to help people stay in their homes, rather than wait until they’re evicted and pay to have them in a hotel or motel placement,” said Repucci.
The $175,000 line item in the budget helps pay for three CAPIC staff members who assist the families in need of assistance and also provides a budget for fuel assistance, conservation measures and other forms of emergency homelessness assistance, including domestic violence assistance, that would otherwise have been lost, if the state budget had not included the funding.
According to Repucci, this is the second year in a row that the funding is being provided through special legislation, brought by Rep. Reinstein. A similar measure was sponsored in the Senate as well, but was not originally approved as part of the senate budget. When the House and Senate budgets went to conference committee to be reconciled, the house legislation was re-introduced and with support from some senators, was included in the conference budget.
“We really just feel very honored that Speaker DeLeo and the representatives from our area believe in our programs so much, that they are willing to go to bat for us and include funding to keep these programs going.”
Repuci also noted that during the current economic climate, CAPIC has seen more and more people facing homelessness, because of the loss of a job or other financial hardship.
“In these programs, we see two types of people, there are the chronic poor, who for various reasons always seem to face challenges with regard to homelessness and then there is a whole group of people, typically in their 50s of early 60s, who are people that you might know,” said Repucci. “People who have worked their whole lives and paid their bills, but suddenly they find themselves a couple of months behind on their rent or their mortgage and they can’t catch up because of the economy or their personal circumstances.”
“Really, we know that the budget hasn’t been signed yet, but I have to say that none of this happens without Speaker DeLeo and his support, or the support of the other representatives who have been involved, including Representative Reinstein, Representative Eugene O’Flaherty, and Senator Petrucelli.