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  GRANTEE PARTNER AMOUNT DESCRIPTION PROGRAM AREA PRIORITY FOCUS AREA YEAR LOCATION Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance 300,000 A one-year project grant to Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance in support of the documentary, Beyond the Bridge 2021 National Boston University Center for Antiracist Research 100,000 A one-year project grant of $100,000 the Boston University Center for Antiracist Policy to develop a pilot Racial Policy Tracker…

“Where People Live Matters.” Housing Funders Seek Systemic Change as Crises Mount — Inside Philanthropy

Published in insidephilanthropy.com September 16, 2020 What can philanthropy do when crises compound and underfunded needs grow even more urgent, with bleak prospects to come? Whatever their giving priorities, that’s a question a lot of funders have asked themselves in 2020, and it’s especially apt for housing funders. Even before COVID-19, most of the field agreed that America’s shortage of affordable housing constituted a crisis….

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Executive Director 6/27/19 The Melville Charitable Trust, Inc. (Melville Trust), a highly respected organization with a reputation for “punching above its weight,” is the largest foundation in the United States exclusively devoted to preventing and ending homelessness. Since its founding in 1990, the Trust has upheld the conviction that homelessness is a solvable social issue and that safe, accessible, and affordable housing is an…

Our Story

“The Melville Charitable Trust began its work on homelessness with two simple thoughts: The first was that the persistence of homelessness in the wealthiest democracy in the world was, quite simply, scandalous. The second was that it was a solvable problem.” -Stephen Melville, Chair Our work is guided by the vision of the founders of the Trust who wholeheartedly believed we could end homelessness by…

How We Are Working to “Meet the Moment”

Dear friends, In April, as the COVID-19 virus was radically transforming our lives and world, we shared details about the Trust’s response, which included immediately redirecting funds toward emergency COVID-19 relief in Connecticut, streamlining our grant processes and offering flexible support to our grantee partners. At that point the impact of COVID-19 was just beginning and our country’s economic and social problems were emerging for…

Melville Trust Response to the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Strategic Plan

The US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) recently released a new strategic plan to end homelessness called Expanding the Toolbox: The Whole-of-Government Response to Homelessness. Unfortunately, it is not a plan. Instead, it is an expansive list of recommendations that ignores the root causes of homelessness and disregards 30 years of evidence about what works. No one chooses to be homeless, but this “plan” takes…

Ford and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Put $7.5 Million Into Efforts to Give Tenants Clout

Originally published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy by Alex Daniels   Two of the nation’s wealthiest foundations have created a new $7.5 million fund to help give tenants more say in housing matters, as millions of Americans struggle to make rent and face possible eviction as a result of the pandemic. The HouseUS Fund, supported by the Ford and Robert Wood Johnson foundations has…

Imagining a new system for land use and zoning

There is a famous saying that systems do exactly what they are designed to do. The housing system is no exception. It does what it was built to do – preference some populations at the expense of others and keep safe, stable housing out of reach for too many of our neighbors. Targeted, systematic, and racialized policies and practices were designed to exclude Black people…

Frog Hollow, Hartford

Park Street, Photo: plannersweb The Challenge Just a few blocks away from the state capital and downtown Hartford sits Frog Hollow, a predominantly Latino neighborhood, home to about 10,000 of Hartford’s 125,000 residents. Decades of disinvestment, poverty, and lack of opportunity in this once thriving industrial powerhouse, have taken a toll on the neighborhood. The Solution Recognizing the opportunity to make significant change in…

Institute for Community Research/Youth Action Hub

In June of 2016, the Youth Action Hub held a meeting with key stakeholders across Connecticut to share their research findings. Artemis stood at the front of the conference room, leading a presentation on how youth experiencing homelessness in Connecticut find information and resources to get help. The audience, which included the Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Housing, listened intently and took notes. But…

Invest in America’s Infrastructure by Expanding Access to Affordable Housing

One of the enduring lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic is how fundamental housing is to us all. As the pandemic raged, our homes became places of safety and sanctuary. Spending more time at home became a public health imperative—with our homes transformed into full-time places of work and school. In the post-pandemic world, working at home will likely be the “new normal” for tens of…

Secure Jobs Connecticut 2.0

The Challenge The connections between employment, housing, childcare and transportation are abundantly clear—if working parents can’t get to their jobs, or find stable, affordable childcare, they won’t stay employed and be able to afford their housing. For families struggling with homelessness in Connecticut, navigating the maze of independent agencies overseeing each of these support systems has been time consuming and frustrating, which compounds the…

Our Funding Approach

A 65-year-old veteran who has been living on the street for over a decade. A family that is struggling after a recent job loss and only enough savings to last a month. A gay teen who is no longer welcome at home after coming out to his family. A mom and her child fleeing an abusive partner. The reasons people become homeless are highly individualized….

Missed Opportunities: LGBTQ Youth Homelessness in America

Megan Gibbard Kline is the Director of A Way Home America, a grantee partner of the Trust. I’m lucky to work with amazing LGBTQ youth from across the country who have lived experiences of homelessness. Over the years, I’ve been privileged to hear about their experiences and incorporate their strategy recommendations into our work to end youth homelessness nationally. While every young person I meet…

Four Strategies for Improving Homeless Service & Workforce Systems Collaboration

Caitlin C. Schnur is a Senior Policy Associate for the National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity at Heartland Alliance, a grantee partner of the Trust. Overall, only about one in five people across the country leave the homeless service system with increased earned income. That’s troubling, because employment success and housing stability are interconnected. This figure supports a main takeaway of our most recent…

Ending Homelessness for LGBTQ Youth: A Conversation with Ryan Berg

I was halfway through a chapter of No House to Call My Home, when my train arrived at Harvard Square. I had a dentist appointment I couldn’t miss and a lump in my throat that I couldn’t shake. After my cleaning was over and before going back to work, I ducked into Peet’s Coffee for 10 minutes to finish the chapter. No House to Call…

The Stories We Tell

We tend to tell children heartening stories that have happy endings, and tales that boost their ambitious dreams. Celebrating potential and positivity are cornerstones of storytelling aimed at kids, yet the stories we tell each other about pressing social challenges tend to focus on problems, rather than possibilities. When our children ask why people sleep on the sidewalk, imagine explaining that no one chooses to…

New York to Give Homeless Youth ‘No Strings’ Cash for Two Years

Originally published in Newsweek.com by Jason Lemon   New York City is launching an experimental program that will give some homeless young people no-strings-attached direct cash payments of $1,250 per month as part of a public-private partnership supported by the mayor’s office. Some 30 to 40 young people, ages 18 to 24, will be eligible for the $1,250 payments as part of the program for…

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