As a single dad with little income, Raymond felt fortunate he and his two daughters could move in with his sister’s family. But as soon as he learned of his daughter’s abuse, Raymond packed up and moved his family again,this time to another relative's house. Living quarters were tight, tempers were short and the relocated family soon wore out their welcome. Raymond’s only recourse was to apply for emergency shelter. But the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) determined that Raymond had feasible alternative housing with his relatives and so denied the family shelter.
Knowing his relatives would not open their doors to him again, Raymond came to MetroWest Legal Services for help. The new emergency shelter regulations required that Raymond fit into one of four very narrow eligibility criteria in order to receive shelter. To meet the criteria, MetroWest Legal Services advised Raymond that he and his family spend one night in a place not meant for human habitation, which they could verify. Raymond’s family ended up in the local hospital emergency room. The hospital called the police and the police removed them from the ER and put them onto the street, but not before the family received a letter from the hospital. The next day MetroWest Legal Services notified DHCD and gave them the documentation. DHCD still refused to place the family in a shelter. MetroWest Legal Services then advocated with DHCD’s legal department and after another night in a different ER, Raymond and his two daughters were finally given emergency shelter