• Budget cut may force shut down of local homeless outreach team

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh

    Updated:

    They hit the streets every day, providing vital services to a vulnerable population, but a local outreach team is losing all its funding at the end of the month.

    Boston 25 News anchor Kerry Kavanaugh went out with the ABCD's Mobile Homeless Outreach Team, or M-HOT, on Tuesday to see firsthand the services they provide the homeless in Everett, Malden and Medford - and the void left behind without them. 

    "They’ve helped me tremendously with food, clothing. They’ve helped me fill out several applications for places to try to go. They helped me with a tremendous amount of stuff, hooked me back up with my doctors," said Danielle. "The fact that it’s a mobile and they’re able to go places when people don’t even have means to get on busses and stuff helps out tremendously."

    Mobile Homeless Outreach Specialist Aaron Blythe says the team's job is to locate and provide services to the homeless population in Everett, Malden and Medford.

    "We’re also able to take people to their substance abuse programs, detoxes, doctors appointments. Take the to shelters which is really important at night. Whatever barriers are in the way, we try to remove them by taking them in the van to wherever they have to go," said M-HOT member Richard Matos-Hale. 

    But at the end of the month, the program shuts down.

    "For whatever reason, for their rating system, unfortunately we didn’t get high enough score to prove there’s an actual need for these services," said Matos-Hale. "When you remove something like this you’re removing the possibility of reaching someone and possibly saving a life."

    So, is this really the end of the road for this group in two weeks?

    M-HOT is working with city leaders in Everett, Malden and Medford to see if the municipalities can come up with any money to contribute outreach services in those communities.

    For now, they are hoping anyone with some money to spare will donate. To donate, click here

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