Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance Honors House Ways & Means Chair Jeffrey Sánchez, Arlene Crosby of Duffy Health Center, and Home & Healthy for Good Service Providers


December 11, 2018

For more information, contact:
Caitlin Golden, 617-367-6447 x28



The 2018 MHSA Annual Meeting featured special guests Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, Sheila A. Dillon of the City of Boston, and Dr. Jeffrey Rose of Hearst Health

BOSTON, Mass. – The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) hosted its 2018 Annual Meeting at the Boston College Club, 100 Federal Street, Boston on Tuesday, December 11. This year, MHSA honored House Ways & Means Chair Jeffrey Sánchez with the Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award; Arlene Crosby of Duffy Health Center with the Ed O’Neil Award; and 20 nonprofits who are service providers in the Home & Healthy for Good program with the Cornerstone Award.

Special guests included Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo; Sheila A. Dillon, Chief of Housing and Director of Neighborhood Development; and Jeffrey Rose, MD, Senior Vice President of Clinical Strategy at Hearst Health.

“Today we are thrilled to honor House Ways & Means Chair Sánchez, Arlene Crosby, and Home & Healthy for Good service providers for their outstanding contributions to efforts to end homelessness in Massachusetts,” said MHSA President & Executive Director Joe Finn. “Their leadership, commitment to innovation, and tireless dedication have enabled us to move closer to our goal of ensuring that people across the Commonwealth have access to the housing and services that they need to thrive.”

Chief of Housing Sheila A. Dillon shared welcoming remarks on behalf of Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston. Chief Dillon described Representative Sánchez’s dedication to governing in an accessible way, placing a priority on listening to the concerns of those he serves, and thanked Representative Sánchez for his leadership on issues related to housing and homelessness. Chief Dillon also gave an update on the significant progress the City of Boston has made in its efforts to end homelessness among individuals, thanking MHSA and the service providers in the room for their partnership.

Speaker DeLeo joined Finn and the family of Canon Brian S. Kelley to present the Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award to House Ways & Means Chair Sánchez for his dedication to ensuring that unaccompanied homeless adults have access to housing and services to end their homelessness. The award is named in honor of Canon Brian S. Kelley, a longtime advocate to end homelessness who served as the Canon at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston. Canon Kelley was present at the event along with his wife and daughter.

“Affordable housing has been a priority for Chair Sánchez throughout his tenure at the State House, and he works hard to support community-based development and efforts to increase affordable housing across the Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “He deserves this high honor as he has always wanted to make sure that every resident in Massachusetts had a place they could call home. As he departs the State House, he will leave behind a legacy of hard work, focus, and an enduring care for those in need.”

“Thank you to Joe Finn and everyone at the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance for this award,” said Chair Sánchez. “Ensuring everyone has access to safe, stable housing is a team effort. It's through partnerships that we'll end homelessness and create better lives for everyone in the Commonwealth, and I look forward to working together on that goal in the future.”

MHSA awarded the Cornerstone Award to 20 agencies across Massachusetts who partner with MHSA for its Home & Healthy for Good (HHG) program. HHG is a low-threshold permanent supportive housing program that prioritizes Housing First as a solution to homelessness. HHG was recognized in March with the 2018 Hearst Health Prize for excellence in population health. Dr. Jeffrey Rose of Hearst Health presented the Cornerstone Award to representatives from the HHG agencies. The agencies honored were: Action Inc.; AIDS Action Committee; Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program; Boston Public Health Commission; Commonwealth Land Trust; Clinical Support Options/Friends of the Homeless; DIAL/SELF Youth & Community Services; Duffy Health Center; Father Bill’s & MainSpring; Heading Home; HomeStart; Housing Assistance Corporation; Justice Resource Institute; Metro Housing|Boston; MHA, Inc.; North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc.; Pine Street Inn; ServiceNet; South Middlesex Opportunity Council; and Veterans Inc.

"It was an honor to present MHSA’s Cornerstone Award to HHG’s team of service providers, whose strong collaboration is an integral part of the program’s success in improving people’s health by providing them permanent supportive housing,” Rose said. “HHG’s impressive and measurable results exemplify the work that we want to shine a light on with the Hearst Health Prize.”

The event concluded with the presentation of the Ed O’Neil Award to Arlene Crosby, Outreach Case Manager at Duffy Health Center in Hyannis. The Ed O’Neil Award recognizes an exceptional direct care worker from a MHSA member agency who has demonstrated a strong commitment to ending homelessness. The award is named in honor of the late Ed O’Neil, who was a longtime advocate for homeless individuals, a U.S. Navy Veteran and a counselor for people with substance use disorders. Finn was joined by the family of Ed O’Neil to present the Award.

When asked about her achievements, Crosby stressed that she does not do this work alone. “You have to be passionate to do the work that we do,” she said. “I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by such brilliant, supportive, and compassionate coworkers and members of the community.”

The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Massachusetts, with a particular focus on unaccompanied adults. Through advocacy, collaboration, education, and innovative program development, MHSA focuses on evidence-based solutions that reduce public reliance on emergency resources and prioritize access to stable housing and individualized support services. MHSA draws on the on-the-ground experience of our 85 member agencies from across Massachusetts to inform our advocacy and program development. MHSA’s unique position as an intermediary between public agencies and homeless service providers enables us to create solutions to homelessness that have the greatest impact. For more information, please visit