"Volunteering at the Day Center was really great, I knew the families pretty well. It was a fall Sunday late in the morning. The parents were helping the younger children get ready for the day. One of the older boys was getting his football gear on for an afternoon game. The TV was on; the sun was coming in through the living room windows. A Mom was lying on the couch with her baby girl on her lap.
I couldn't help but think how close to home this was - in fact, these families were home, or at least their home for now. I recommend volunteers check out the Day Center - it's a really nice place to volunteer." - Mike, volunteer
When volunteers become engaged with Family Promise Metrowest, an awareness builds in regards to issues facing our families and the challenges that result in the root cause of homelessness. Below are current statistics on family homelessness in Massachusetts.
Basic Facts on Homelessness in Massachusetts
As of February 11, 2015, there were over 4,500 families with children and pregnant women in Massachusetts’ Emergency Assistance (EA) shelter program. 1,438 of these families with children were being sheltered in motels. This number does not count those families who are doubled up, living in unsafe conditions, or sleeping in their cars.
2013 data from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), released in August 2014, estimates that 9,493 high school-aged students in public schools are experiencing homelessness on any given day in Massachusetts.
Since 2007, 134,304 poor renter households in Massachusetts have paid more than half their monthly income for housing costs (This is an increase of 24,346 households, or 22.1 percent).
Basic Facts on Poverty Across the Country
In November 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 49.7 million Americans were living below the poverty line.
According to its latest data, the number of people living in poverty is comparable to the combined populations of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. This is the highest number of people living in poverty in the United States since 1959.
We are experiencing a significant and prolonged shortage of affordable housing with housing costs far outpacing wages. Between 1980 and 2003 federal support for low-income housing fell 49%.
Five states, California (22%), New York (13%), Florida (8%), Texas (5%), and Massachusetts (3%), accounted for more than half of the homeless population in the United States in 2013.
Statistics were taken from: National Coalition for the Homeless (http://nationalhomeless.org/) and the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless (http://www.mahomeless.org)
For More Information on Advocacy go to:
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance