News & Events

Brookline has 50 Homeless Students and YOU can Help

PRESS RELEASE:
Date: August, 2023

Did you know that Brookline schools have 50 homeless students and many others who are in dire economic need and housing insecurity?

According to Deborah Brown, Board President of the Brookline Community Development Corporation (BCDC), “Brookline has more poverty than many Brookline residents are aware of.” Ms. Brown said that “when most people compare towns in the area, Brookline is linked with Newton, Weston, Lexington and Concord. The reality is that its housing and poverty statistics align more with Framingham and Waltham.” Brookline students have both urgent needs like access to food, clothing and school supplies, as well as long term needs for more affordable housing.

Brookline schools provide a safe space, two meals, and counseling during the school day for students in need, but more resources are necessary.

Bottom line: Economic instability, food insecurity, and the lack of permanent adequate housing has significant and long-lasting adverse effects on students and their ability to learn.

What is being done?

Last year, the Brookline Community Foundation awarded BCDC a grant of $25,000 to assist families with immediate needs such as food and essential items. With additional BCDC funds, BCDC and Brookline Housing Authority (BHA) distributed nearly $45,000 for gift cards to families to purchase school essentials last September. Today, as the school year rapidly approaches, BCDC is working to secure more funding to support Brookline families at this critical time.

BCDC has begun conversations to alleviate some of the most immediate needs including school readiness and food insecurity. It is also focused on longer term solutions for permanent adequate housing for families in the greatest need. It is engaging with Brookline Housing Authority, Brookline Center for Mental Health, The Brookline Food Pantry, Women Thriving, Steps to Success, some faith-based organizations and Brookline for Racial Justice and Equity.

As the school year rapidly approaches, BCDC is working to secure more funding to support Brookline families at this critical time. The needs include school readiness and adequate nutrition as well as longer term solutions for permanent housing for our Brookline families in greatest need.

What can you do?

Only when you know there is a problem can you commit to alleviating it. “Neighbors need to tell neighbors how many people are struggling in Brookline,” says Kimberley Richardson, a BCDC board member.

Residents should contact their Town Meeting members and the Select Board about these issues. Susan Michaels, a long-time Brookline resident stated, “Working on ways to create more housing and provide other services for these families is the responsibility of the entire town.”

Make a tax-deductible donation to BCDC, a 501(c)(3) organization, at https://brooklinecdc.com/donate/ so we can support our most vulnerable neighbors. “We need to raise $100,000 to fund emergency services for Brookline residents,” says Ms. Brown of BCDC.

For more information, visit the BCDC website. For questions, please contact Deborah Brown at deborah@brooklinecdc.com.