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About MLRI, Acknowledgements, and Copyright

About MLRI

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) provides statewide advocacy and leadership in advancing laws, policies, and practices that secure economic, racial, and social justice for low-income people and communities. MLRI furthers its mission through impact litigation, policy advocacy, coalition building, community lawyering, and public information. In addition, it serves as the poverty law support center for the Massachusetts civil legal aid and advocacy community, providing expertise and support to local legal aid programs, social service, health care and human service providers, and community organizations that serve low income people throughout the state. Find us online at


MLRI dedicates this Emergency Assistance (EA) Advocacy Guide to the low-income children and their families for whom it was written.

MLRI also dedicates this Guide to our friend and former colleague Ruth Bourquin, the original author of this publication, and to all the advocates in Massachusetts who help children and their families obtain the benefits for which they are eligible, and who work to preserve and protect basic supports for people living in poverty.

MRLI and our BBT trainers honor the legacy of Chief Justice Ralph Gants of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, a champion in the pursuit of justice for all. Justice Gants possessed a deep sense of humanity and was committed to a fair and equitable judiciary, including for marginalized and disenfranchised people. He understood the many barriers faced by low-income families and worked tirelessly to ensure fair and equal access to the courts. We will do our best to carry his work forward.

The 2020 edition of this Guide was updated by Andrea Park of MLRI, Kelly Turley of Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Elizabeth Alfred of Central West Justice Center, and Laticia Walker-Simpson of Greater Boston Legal Services.

Special thanks to Lena Wilson of MLRI for her work on the production of the Guide.

© 2020 by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Permission to reprint must be obtained from both the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.

MCLE: 2200260B11
ISBN: 1-68345-167-8
ISSN:  2330-4560