Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance to Honor Senator Paul R. Feeney at Annual Meeting on December 12

October 31, 2019 

For more information, contact:
Meg Hoffman, 617-367-6447 x18 

MHSA will present Senator Feeney with the “Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award” at the 2019 MHSA Annual Meeting on December 12

BOSTON, Mass. – The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) announced that it will honor State Senator Paul R. Feeney (D – Bristol and Norfolk) for his work as a champion for permanent supportive housing for people experiencing long-term homelessness who have complex physical and behavioral health needs. Senator Feeney will receive the “Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award” at the 2019 MHSA Annual Meeting, which will be held on December 12 at the Boston College Club, 100 Federal Street, Boston.

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.

“Senator Paul Feeney best represents the words of Robert F. Kennedy spoken in Athens, Georgia in 1961, ‘...I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil. Government belongs wherever evil needs an adversary and there are people in distress who cannot help themselves,’” said MHSA President & Executive Director, Joe Finn. “Senator Feeney is awarded the 2019 Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award because his actions demonstrate that his understanding of government makes him a strong adversary to the evil that leaves countless people on the streets and in shelter without a place to call home.  In doing so, he stands for those same values that Canon Kelley made the core of his entire life.”

"I believe with all my heart that the attention and focus of public servants, especially in these challenging times, should be rooted in lifting up the vulnerable and restoring hope to those in the grip of poverty and despair,” said Senator Feeney. “I am blessed to have the opportunity to advocate for policy and resources as a legislator, but understand fully and humbly that I am a very small part of an incredible army of organizations and activists that dedicate their lives to housing and care for the homeless. The individuals at MHSA and affiliated organizations are truly men and women for others. I am truly honored to receive the Canon Brian S. Kelley Award and look forward to a lifetime of continued partnership and advocacy with MHSA."

Senator Feeney is serving in his second term representing the Bristol and Norfolk State Senate District, consisting of Medfield, Walpole, Foxborough, Mansfield, Norton, Seekonk and Rehoboth, as well as parts of Sharon and Attleboro.

The announcement was made on Tuesday at the 2019 MHSA Member Retreat in Framingham, where housing and shelter providers, health care providers, public officials and representatives from community-based organizations across Massachusetts that serve people experiencing homelessness gathered to focus on strategies for bringing supportive housing to scale in the Commonwealth. Senator Feeney was a keynote speaker for the event.

More information about the MHSA Annual Meeting is available at or by contacting Meg Hoffman at or 617-367-6447 x18. 

The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Massachusetts. 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 its 86 member agencies from across Massachusetts to inform its advocacy and program development. MHSA’s unique position as an intermediary between public agencies and homeless service providers enables it to create solutions to homelessness that have the greatest impact. For more information, please visit