Homeless advocates to converge on Massachusetts Statehouse

BOSTON (AP) — Homeless advocates are planning to converge on the Massachusetts Statehouse to press lawmakers to support programs for those trying to find a permanent place to live.

The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless plans to bring homeless families and young people to Beacon Hill on Tuesday for the event.

The advocates hope to overturn existing state policies that require many children and families who are experiencing homelessness to first stay in places not meant for human habitation before becoming eligible for emergency assistance family shelter.

They say since the policy was implemented in 2012, more than 3,000 families have had to stay in hospital emergency departments, cars, campgrounds, transit stations and other unsafe places before being approved for shelter.

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The bill is awaiting action by the House Ways and Means Committee.