Press Release
March 6, 2024

Fernandes Passes Amendment to Prioritize Veterans in Shelter System

March 7, 2024 - BOSTON – Yesterday, Representative Fernandes’ bipartisan amendment to prioritize veterans seeking emergency shelter was unanimously adopted by the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

“Veterans have selflessly served our Commonwealth and country and they deserve priority when it comes to the shelter program,” said Rep. Fernandes. “My amendment ensures that veterans are automatically given the maximum length of stay in the shelter program. We must support those who served us and this amendment gives veterans additional support.”

The amendment, filed by Representative Fernandes to the FY2024 Supplemental Budget, guarantees veterans the maximum allowable stay in shelter programs. Non-veteran families have restrictions on staying in the program past 9 months based on a number of factors including employment and job training status that veterans will not need to meet under this legislation.

Barnstable County has some of the highest proportions of veterans across the state, with over 8 percent of residents having served in the armed forces. In Plymouth County, there are over 26,000 veterans.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for further consideration.