Policy Associate

Job Type
Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance
Contact Name
Caitlin Golden
Contact Email

7 Bulfinch Pl
Boston, MA
United States

Job Description

The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Policy Associate.


About MHSA:

MHSA is a statewide nonprofit organization that is driving innovation to end homelessness among adult individuals through advocacy and development of outcome-based programs. For more than 30 years, MHSA has been transforming the traditional response of emergency shelter into a system of permanent housing, improved access to support services and healthcare, and other long-term solutions to homelessness. These strategies have helped dramatically reduce chronic homelessness in Massachusetts and gained MHSA national recognition for several initiatives. MHSA has a network of more than 100 member agencies; it also works closely with state and city governments. It uses its unique position as an intermediary between public agencies and homeless service providers to create innovative responses to homelessness for adults in Massachusetts. MHSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer offering competitive pay, generous benefits, and work in a mission-focused organization.

Learn more about MHSA at www.mhsa.net.


Position Summary: This is a new position for a highly organized, detailed-oriented person and an opportunity for the right candidate to learn, grow, and contribute their skills to MHSA’s mission to end homelessness. Working closely with the Director of Public Policy, the Policy Associate will advance MHSA’s advocacy/policy work and collaborations with partners; support MHSA member relations and lead outreach to grassroots groups and other projects; and work to raise public awareness of MHSA’s advocacy priorities. The Policy Associate will provide significant administrative and logistical support and initiate and manage organizational systems and projects to strengthen MHSA’s capacity to do policy work. This position will offer the opportunity to learn about advocacy/policy work and take on increasing levels of responsibility.


Reports To: Director of Public Policy


Status: This position is full-time, 40 hours a week, exempt.


Essential Functions:


  • Organize and manage logistics for member meetings, the annual member retreat, legislative briefings, and other meetings and events related to advocacy/policy and MHSA membership.
  • Lead MHSA’s new initiative to reach out to grassroots groups and groups led by/serving underserved communities to advance our work on racial equity and expand MHSA membership.
  • Support MHSA member relations, including maintaining updated MHSA member contact information, onboarding new MHSA member agencies, and managing MHSA’s annual membership contribution appeal.
  • Prepare advocacy/policy materials (one-pagers, email alerts, etc.) and schedule advocacy/policy meetings with public officials, MHSA member agencies, and other partners.
  • Track state budget line items and legislation relevant to MHSA’s mission.
  • Provide staff support for the MHSA Member Advisory Board, the MHSA Board Policy Advocacy Committee, and other MHSA member committees and external partnerships as needed.
  • Represent MHSA as needed at external meetings related to advocacy/policy.
  • Work with the Director of Public Policy and the MHSA Development Team to create content related to advocacy/policy and membership for the MHSA website, social media, newsletters, etc.
  • Other duties as reasonably required to support MHSA’s mission and organizational operations.



  • 2-3 years of relevant experience required.
  • Passion for MHSA’s mission of ending homelessness.
  • Dedication to systems change; understanding of the connection between politics, policy, and social change.
  • Commitment to forwarding racial and ethnic diversity in all aspects of this work.
  • Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills.
    • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.
    • Proven ability to take initiative, prioritize assigned projects, and complete tasks efficiently and meticulously with exceptional accuracy.
    • Ability to take the lead on logistics for events and meetings, managing large and small details from planning to day-of implementation.
    • Ability to set up and use tracking tools to track member engagement, advocacy alert responses, and project work plans.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including:
    • Ability to interact with members, public officials, community partners, and people with lived experience of homelessness.
    • Ability to work with people from a range of backgrounds, particularly those who have been marginalized or impacted by social inequities.
    • Ability to listen well and build relationships.
    • Ability to be diplomatic and collaborative.
    • Ability to navigate political discussions; ability to make the distinction between personal political priorities/opinions/pursuits and policy work on behalf of MHSA.
  • Excellent writing skills. Ability to put together emails, documents, and other written materials without needing extensive grammatical edits.
  • Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Office, Zoom, and Teams. Experience with social media, email marketing systems (e.g., Constant Contact), and contact databases a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to be self-directed, adaptable, and to work both independently and in a team environment.
  • Ability to register as a Massachusetts lobbyist (if needed).
  • Valid driver’s license required.
  • Must reside in Massachusetts while employed at MHSA.


Compensation and Benefits:

  • This position is 40 hours per week, exempt. Salary range is $55,000-$60,000 per year.
  • Excellent benefits include:
    • Harvard Pilgrim health insurance (80% employer-paid)
    • Delta dental insurance (80% employer-paid)
    • EyeMed vision insurance (100% employee-paid at MHSA’s lower group rate)
    • Life, long-term disability, and Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance (100% employer-paid)
    • Employee Assistance Program
    • Pre-tax commuter benefits
    • Pre-tax flexible spending account for out-of-pocket medical expenses for employee and eligible family members
    • Pre-tax dependent care spending account to be reimbursed for dependent care expenses, such as daycare, preschool, and summer camps
    • 15 days of vacation per year to start (maximum 25 days per year accrual rate after 4 full years of employment)
    • 15 holidays per year
    • 401k retirement plan with 25% employer matching contribution

Note: MHSA supports a hybrid work environment. Staff are expected to work from the Boston office as needed to ensure maximum performance and results, and at the direction of supervisors. This position will also involve travel to meetings across Massachusetts.


Application Procedure:

Please submit a resume and cover letter to Caitlin Golden, Director of Public Policy, at cgolden@mhsa.net, no later than December 18, 2023. Please be sure to put "Policy Associate" in the subject line.


At MHSA, we appreciate the value and richness of different perspectives and experiences. We constantly strive to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We work to make everyone feel welcomed and engaged as a valued member of the MHSA team. MHSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse workforce. Individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We especially encourage people with lived experience of homelessness to apply.


See our full EEO policy at https://mhsa.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/MHSA-EEO-Non- Discrimination-Policy.pdf

Application Instruction

Please submit a resume and cover letter to Caitlin Golden, Director of Public Policy, at cgolden@mhsa.net, no later than December 18, 2023. Please be sure to put "Policy Associate" in the subject line.