Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance Selected as Recipient of Massachusetts Attorney General's Office Social Determinants Partnership Grant

January 8, 2019

For more information, contact:
Josh Cuddy, 617-367-6447 x17


MHSA will partner with Community Healthlink, Duffy Health Center and Mercy Medical Center – Health Care for the Homeless Program.

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) has been selected as a recipient of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Social Determinants Partnership grant program. The grant will provide funding for “Health Care for Housing,” a new, statewide initiative in which MHSA will partner with three community health centers: Community Healthlink in Worcester, Duffy Health Center in Hyannis and Mercy Medical Center – Health Care for the Homeless Program in Springfield.

The announcement of the grant was made this morning at a press conference held by Attorney General Maura Healey. The Social Determinants Partnership grant program aims to invest in innovative partnerships between health care providers, social service organizations, or local governments in order to reduce health disparities affecting underserved communities by addressing social determinants of health.

For the Health Care for Housing initiative, one community health worker (CHW) will be stationed at each of the three health centers to provide personalized care to a targeted group of chronically homeless individuals with complex health needs. The CHWs will help these individuals navigate the medical system, and more importantly, secure stable permanent housing coupled with ongoing support services.

Health Care for Housing is a continuation of MHSA’s work to develop innovative, systemic solutions to end chronic homelessness. Similar to other MHSA collaborative, community-based programs, such as its successful Hospital to Housing program, this new initiative will further demonstrate the value added by CHWs working with the chronically homeless population and the role housing plays in reducing emergency healthcare utilization.

The Attorney General’s Social Determinants Partnership grant program focuses on the impact that identified social factors play in relation to health equity. Housing has been clearly demonstrated to both improve health outcomes and to produce long-term health savings. This grant represents a unique opportunity to look at new and effective strategies to better link frequent users of emergency and acute care to providers of housing within three communities across Massachusetts.

“This program not only directs resources to very deserving agencies – it provides the opportunity to shape health and housing policy moving forward,” said Joe Finn, MHSA President & Executive Director. “We are incredibly grateful to Attorney General Maura Healey for her leadership and support for initiatives that address the critical intersection between health care and social determinants of health.”

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