The fourth annual Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) Homelessness Task Force Educational Forum will return on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. to the Copley Branch of the Boston Public Library’s Rabb Hall.
This year’s program, called “Model Strategies to Prevent Homelessness and Attract the Homeless from the Street,” will include a panel discussion including Sheila Dillon, the city’s Chief of Housing and director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH); Darcy Jameson, vice president of development at Beacon Communities Development, a Boston-based multi-family development and management company with over 18,000 apartments; Andy Waxman, regional vice president of real estate development for The Community Builders, Inc. (TBC); Lyndia Downie, the Pine Street Inn’s president and executive director since 2000; and Matthew Pyne, who leads the Pine Street Inn’s Supportive Housing services programs. The discussion will be moderated by Lynn Jolicoeur, a field producer, reporter, editor, and fill-in host at WBUR.
Elisabeth Morris, co-chair of the Task Force, said the aim of the upcoming forum is to increase the public’s understanding of how providing permanent, deeply affordable housing, with supportive, wraparound services, can help successfully get the “chronically homeless” off the streets permanently.
“Sheila Dillon will tell us about her plans to provide deeply affordable housing to prevent homelessness. Every neighborhood, including the Back Bay, needs to contribute to that end…and nonprofit developers who initiate these successful projects, like 140 Clarendon St., which is a mixed, affordable, and supportive housing project right in our neighborhood,” said Morris, who added that public and private partnerships have been successful in “reducing chronic homelessness and getting people back to a productive life.”
NABB’s Homelessness Task Force and the BPL partnered to host their forum to raise awareness of homelessness at the Copley Branch Library in 2019. In 2020, the forum went online due to the pandemic, while in both 2021 and last year, it was a hybrid event, which again took place at the Copley Branch Library, as well as virtually. This year will mark the first time since the inaugural outing that the forum takes place solely as in-person event.
Meanwhile, Morris credited the enduring partnership between NABB and BPL that makes these forums possible and so successful in raising awareness of homelessness.
“We really appreciate [the library’s] partnership,” she said Morris, adding that David Leonard, president of the BPL, would be introducing the forum per his own request. “We’re very proud he was interested and has been so supportive.”
Register online for the free forum at: https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/64d14a879830b628007759b5.