Avoiding Homelessness:
Start with HAPHousing's HCEC

Contact a Counselor Who Can Help

Download the Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) Flyer

Click here for an interactive map with locations and contact information for organizations offering help for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness throughout Massachusetts.

HomeBASE: A New Response to Homelessness

In 2011 the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development implemented a new approach to assisting families.  HAPHousing is now the lead agency for HomeBASE in Hampden and Hampshire Counties, building on the experience gained during the 25 years we provided homelessness prevention services and operated Prospect House, a congregate family shelter in Springfield.  HomeBASE offers an alternative to shelter and other assistance, including the program known as RAFT, helps families avoid becoming homeless.  It includes time-limited assistance designed to provide a housing solution which is based on the individual needs of a family.  Resources available, including funds for security deposits, first and last month’s rent and temporary rental stipends are designed to facilitate stability. During the limited time that rental stipends are available, families are given the tools they need to work towards becoming self-sufficient and continuing to maintain the tenancy.

We currently provide 89 temporary scattered-site emergency shelter units in Springfield and 106 units of emergency shelter at our residential programs, where homeless families can stay while they work with program staff to obtain stable, permanent housing. For HomeBASE, or other emergency sheltering services, families must be referred by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development through the local offices of the Department of Transitional Assistance

Emergency Housing

In 2011 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts implemented a new approach to assisting families at risk of becoming homeless.  HomeBASE offers an alternative to shelter and provides time-limited assistance designed to provide a housing solution for families who are at serious risk of homelessness rather than going into a shelter or motel.  HAPHousing is the primary HomeBASE provider in Hampden and Hampshire Counties and has contracts with the state to provide prevention, temporary accommodations, re-housing and stabilization services.  For more information on eligibility, click here.

Emergency Shelter: HAPHousing leases 89 scattered site apartments that are used as temporary housing for homeless families. HAPHousing also operates 109 units that are used as temporary housing for homeless families in a residential setting. In line with state policy, HAPHousing's approach emphasizes permanent housing and support instead of shelter. HAPHousing's rapid re-housing initiatives move families from shelter units and motels into affordable permanent housing as soon as possible, and then provides 12 months not 18 of follow-up support.

To access emergency shelter, or HomeBASE, all families must be referred by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development through the local offices of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

For more information on DTA office locations, click here.

Transitional Living

HAPHousing's SafeStep program provides transitional living and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence in various locations. Families are referred by a variety of partner agencies, including domestic violence shelters, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

Pregnant and Parenting Young Mothers

HAPHousing's Turning Point Program has nine units of Permanent Supportive Housing for pregnant and parenting young mothers (generally 18 to 24). Participants are accepted through partner agencies, including the Care Center, DTA and DCF.

Participants of the program receive comprehensive case management, life skills training and supportive services. For intake information or to make a referral to one of these housing programs, contact Sarah Cloutier at scloutier@haphousing.org or 413-233-1634.

Transitional & Permanent Supportive Housing

In transitional housing, families who have been homeless continue to receive supportive services while living in their own apartments for 18 to 24 months.  HAPHousing has a transitional housing program for survivors of Domestic Violence and a Permanent Supportive Housing program for young mothers described below.  For more information on transitional housing or to make a referral to one of these programs, contact Sarah Cloutier at scloutier@haphousing.org or 413-233-1634.

Safe Step: Safe Step serves survivors of domestic violence in various locations. Families are referred by a variety of partner agencies, including domestic violence shelters, the Massachusetts Department of Families and Children and DTA. If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call 911 police emergency or 413-733-7100 for the YWCA Abuse & Rape Crisis Hotline immediately, day or night.

Turning Point: This program serves nine pregnant and/or parenting young women (generally 18 to 24) in Holyoke. Referrals come from a variety of partner agencies, including the Care Center, DTA and DCF.