Analysis Group Pro Bono Team Provides Support in Settlement Reached on Behalf of Homeless Families

May 9, 2023

Analysis Group provided pro bono services to Greater Boston Legal Services on behalf of a group of families and pregnant women experiencing homelessness, in a class action filed against the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

At issue was the state’s failure to comply with laws that require it to place eligible homeless families in the Commonwealth’s Emergency Assistance (EA) shelter program promptly to keep children safe, and to place families close to their home communities to mitigate the impacts of homelessness. In the matter, Garcia v. DHCD, the plaintiffs argued that the shelter program had failed them in a number of critical ways: they were not provided with emergency shelter placements when they were eligible; they were placed in shelters 20 miles or more from their home communities, disrupting their children’s schooling; or they were placed in shelters that didn’t appropriately accommodate family member disabilities, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

An Analysis Group team led by Managing Principals Jee-Yeon Lehmann and Kris Comeaux, and including Managers Yeseul Hyun, Nandita Krishnaswamy, and Solvejg Wewel and Associates Kirsten Clinton and Olivia Althans, analyzed data from the EA shelter system to evaluate factors that affected the likelihood and timing of families’ placement, and to assess whether the provided accommodations met the families’ disability and other needs. The team’s findings and reports were used in settlement negotiations with the DHCD and helped the parties come to an agreement about necessary changes to the workings of the EA shelter system.