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14 shelters in Boston, Lawrence for homeless and women escaping abuse closing after state pulls funding

14 shelters for homeless and women escaping abuse closing after state pulls funding
14 shelters for homeless and women escaping abuse closing after state pulls funding 02:20

BOSTON - Fourteen shelters in Boston and Lawrence for the homeless and women escaping abuse are now just weeks away from closing.

"One man committed an error and we feel an entire organization is paying for that," said Veernon Blessing, Interim Executive Director of the Casa Nueva Vida.

He says due to past mismanagement from their former leader, the state decided last month to pull its funding and not to renew the $7 million contract that funds all 14 of their locations in Boston and in Lawrence.

On June 30, they will have to close down.

"Casa Nueva Vida, without the state funding, is no longer capable of sustaining itself. For families, it could be moving them to another shelter in a different location, and it will impact their lives," Blessing said.

Ms. King, who only wants to be identified as that, is staying at the Casa Nueva Vida shelter in Dorchester. She and her son are escaping a domestic violence situation.

"I am very much so scared. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I am very nervous," she says about the situation.

Ms. King has been here with her son since November. For her, it's a safe haven.

"This is a place where they treat you like a human being, not as a shelter person ,and they are there for you," she said.

The Department of Housing and Community Development says it's in the process of working with other providers to offer families and employees at Casa Nueva Vida and other shelter locations.

"The safety and well-being of shelter occupants are DHCD's first priority. DHCD will work with any families that will be required to move and ensure they are safely relocated to other shelter units within the emergency assistance portfolio," the DHCD wrote in a statement.

Blessing says when a family comes to live in the shelter, they become a part of the community. The children go to school around here, and they use the playgrounds. If they are forced to leave, it will disrupt their lives dramatically.

"It would disrupt my whole life because here I am safe," Ms. King. "Now, I will have to go out and not be trusting people, wondering where I am going to live, sleep, live. How am I going to survive? I am a mom, so it's not just me I have to worry about. It's going to be hard very hard."

Blessing says this shelter has been a new home for so many and prays the state works closely with the families and staff so they can remain here under a different provider.

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