Boston, MA - A new study was recently released covering the top-10 cities in America facing high rates of homelessness. The data present in the findings is broken down by what are known as CoC, also known as the Continuums of Care. The Continuums of Care are simply the local members of that specific city fighting to help solve the problem. In the city of Boston, there are 6,188 Continuums of Care out there trying to help the rate from rising by coordinating helpful homelessness services.
Additional data has been released over the course of the year, though. For instance, Boston has now reportedly reduced the rate of homelessness by approximately 20% since the year 2016. With the problem growing exponentially nationally, the city of Boston is proud to state that even though the situation isn’t entirely under control, it is being worked on every single day.
The plan to take action was initiated back in June 2015, when Boston launched what was known as the “action plan.” This “action plan” was aimed at solving veteran homelessness problems. In January 2016, Mayor Walsh proudly announced that all veteran homelessness had come to an end. This was the start to help the entire Boston homelessness population.
To prove even further that Boston citizens have been trying their very best to help put this issue to rest, evidence was brought forward stating that back at the beginning of 2016, a total of 612 people was chronically homeless in the city. All said people were either living in an emergency shelter or on the streets. Fast forward two years later to mid-2018 and a total of 580 of those people are now living in actual homes.
Though this seems to be a win for the city of Boston, it’s not entirely. Since 2016, 800 people outside of the 612 already mentioned have become chronically homeless. The battle always has its wins and its losses. After the winter we faced in 2017, the amount of chronically homeless people in Boston dropped to 493. The newest update has not yet been released.
After the action plan was developed, Boston sought fit to additionally add to the mix a software program. This very specific program was developed to help match people on the list with finding potential housing units. Those that were on the list were chronically homeless.
The fight to end homelessness in Boston doesn’t stop there. A computer system is also available to shelters and providers for them to be able to see where the homeless people have been living on a nightly basis.
Even still, an additional program offers something better known as a “front-door triage.” This service immediately helps homeless people as soon as they enter a shelter. The main purpose behind this program is to help homeless people move out of homelessness almost immediately, therefore potentially getting them away from shelters entirely and straight into permanent housing.
The only major set back to the proposed plan is that there is currently a shortage of affordable and subsidized housing in Boston. And, without more federal investment, it’ll be hard to continue to make the progress they’re making, never mind exceeding their expectations.
Many city members have come forward to state that one of the only reasons that stopping the veterans’ homelessness from going any further actually panned through was because there was a ton of federal investing backing the plan. The same isn’t applicable to other scenarios and situations, such as the homeless people that are facing opioid addictions and issues.
Even still, city members, like the employees of the city known as the Chronic Working Group, will continue to fight this battle until it is won. Though many people in the fight had a goal to almost end homelessness in Boston by the end of 2018, and though they have yet to meet said goal, they will not stop until any and everyone is helped, and housing is found.