- About Us
- Strategic Focus
- Dudley Learning Center
- Dudley Neighbors Inc.
- Housing on Land Trust
- Open Space Projects
- Commercial Property and Partnerships
- Leaseholder Info
- Boston Promise Initiative
- News & Events
- Support Us
No Child Goes Homeless
It will take more than books and pencils, or even good teachers, to improve outcomes for students in the Dudley Street Neighborhood. The Boston Promise Initiative (BPI)—and DSNI as its lead agency-- must ensure all children in our community have what they need to engage fully in school and do well. When their immediate basic needs go unmet, children can’t focus on the importance of learning and neither can their parents. That’s why BPI has working groups which focus on such basics as: food, safety, health, and housing.
During the BPI planning process, members of the BPI Housing Working Group identified the lack of secure and affordable housing as a major challenge to efforts to improve the academic performance of children in the Dudley neighborhood. Research shows that nearly 60% of Boston’s homeless families come from Dorchester and Roxbury, while foreclosure petitions in these neighborhoods remain extraordinarily high. What this means on the ground is that many students’ families are forced to move frequently because they are doubled up or living in shelters after enduring foreclosure or eviction. It is well documented that housing insecurity of this kind leads to increased student mobility which has a direct negative impact on both attendance and student academic outcomes. In the face of a problem as intolerable and as rampant as family homelessness, the group wanted to pursue a bolder agenda than providing services. Spurred by the research and bolstered by DSNI’s long experience in promoting housing stability and development without displacement, the group laid out an ambitious goal: within the Dudley Village Campus, no child goes homeless. The No Child Goes Homeless initiative will create a strong network of neighborhood partners, institutions, schools, and city agencies to provide crisis intervention, resources, and organizing support to ensure that school-age children in the Dudley Village Campus will have stable housing throughout their school experience.
The work of actually reaching this goal has just begun. Together with Project Hope and other partners, we are working to conduct a housing resource and needs assessment for families in the neighborhood and build an infrastructure of support and mutual accountability to make sure families identified as being at risk of losing their homes get services and are followed until their housing is stable. We’ll also look at existing policies around the causes of family homelessness and we’ll work to prevent displacement by addressing those causes.
In addition to these activities we are working to develop a plan including:
1.) Scaling up successful eviction prevention programs that assist families in working out payment plans and making flex funds available to help with rent and utilities arrearage
2.) Implementing anti-foreclosure organizing strategies to prevent displacement of families in DVC, including working with the City of Boston’s Foreclosure Intervention Teams
3.) Finding ways to expand the number of homes that are part of the Dudley Neighbors, Inc. Community Land Trust, which has been an island of stability in the neighborhood during the economic downturn.
4.) Undertaking a feasibility study for new housing models and programs that serve the needs of young people between the ages of 18 and 21, a group that is at particular risk of housing instability.
We are also working with the Boston Public Schools and schools on the Dudley Village Campus to identify families at risk before they become homeless, in order to protect students from the serious negative effects of homelessness.
If you want to get involved, please contact Harry Smith at 617.442.9670 x220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.