Ropes & Gray was recently honored with the “Changemakers” award by Boston area shelter provider Heading Home. Our pro bono team advised Heading Home in its negotiations with Casa Nueva Vida (CNV) to coordinate continued shelter for 125 families experiencing homelessness, formerly funded by CNV’s contract with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). These families were at risk of being displaced following DHCD’s decision to terminate Casa Nueva Vida’s shelter contract due to alleged fraud by its former CEO.
With substantial counseling from Ropes & Gray on corporate, intellectual property and employment matters in negotiations with CNV and discussions with Massachusetts state regulators, Heading Home’s Emergency Assistance contract has been successfully expanded to include CNV as a division of the organization. Heading Home is committed to maintaining the cultural identity of CNV, whose mission supports primarily Spanish-speaking families on their paths out of homelessness in Greater Boston and Lawrence regions.
Heading Home is one of Greater Boston’s largest housing and shelter providers, working with 1,400 clients annually, more than half of whom are children. Heading Home’s unique housing-plus-services model has yielded a 16-year success rate of 90% of clients remaining permanently housed. Last year, fiscal year 2021, 97% of the households that moved out of shelter maintained their housing success for one year and beyond.
The Ropes & Gray Heading Home pro bono team was led by health care partner Devin Cohen and included health care partner Anne Ogilby, private equity partner Jeff Katz, employment & benefits partner Megan Bisk, employment & benefits principal Ellen Benson, IP transactions counsel Emily Karlberg, health care associate Michael McGrath, real estate associate Atakelti (AT) Desta, capital markets associate Christopher Shorey and health care associate Brianna Isaacson. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo acted as counsel to Heading Home on real estate matters.
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