In January, cities and towns across the country participated in the “Point in Time” count, an annual census of homeless individuals and families that provides a baseline for measuring progress on this complex issue. United Way marked the important evening by sending a team of volunteers to join Mayor Marty Walsh to canvass the streets for the Boston Homeless Census and by hosting an educational event to raise awareness in the community about the impact of homelessness and the strategies underway to address it.
This month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released the nationwide results of that count. The good news? Massachusetts’ homeless population dropped by 10 percent from 2016, despite a nationwide increase of 1 percent. According to the Boston Globe, this was the second-largest drop in the nation. The Globe also reported the homeless rate for families dropped by 14.2 percent statewide, but is still 65 percent higher than it was 10 years ago.