By: Katia Antunes, Denesia Eunis-Jones, Cherish Lamar-Smith, and Kaylon Virgo
Homelessness in Boston
Boston is one of the ten most expensive places to live in the United States. This lack of affordability makes it prone to high rates of homelessness. The rent in Boston makes it very hard for families and individuals to provide for themselves whether it's food, transportation, clothes, and health/medical needs. Studies in late 2018 showed that there were more than 20,000 people experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts. Most of those people were families with children. The main reasons for homelessness in Massachusetts are due to poverty, physical/mental health disparities, substance abuse, and under-employment.
Housing and Employment
The average cost of housing in Boston is $595,000. The cost increased by 2.5% from May 2018 to July 2019. If they think of just renting instead of owning it’s extremely expensive as well. On average, renting in Boston is over $2,200 for a one-bedroom apartment.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour but in Massachusetts it is $12.00. This means you would be getting paid $1,920 per month on average. If the average amount of rent is $2,200, then not only do you not have enough money for rent, but you wouldn’t have money each month for food, utilities, or money just to live. If you have a family to feed, then it would be even harder.
There are a few actions that we, as a community, can take to make a change in the lives of homeless individuals and families. These actions include increasing the number of shelters and programs available for the homeless population. More shelters would allow homeless individuals and families to have more options for places to spend the night. More options would mean instead of spending the night in the street they would be able to spend it inside a safe home with food, water and other resources. Another action that would help improve the lives of homeless individuals and families would be increasing the number of programs. There are action plans in place as a blueprint to help homeless individuals. These plans are meant to help homeless individuals find a way out of the street and find employment. This is a way to suggest new solutions and help those in need find homes.
In conclusion, Boston has the highest rate of homelessness in the united states due to the fact that there is an extreme poverty with youth. The reason why there is a significant amount of homelessness is because of lack of affordable housing, high unemployment rates, and under-employment. Some ways on how to decrease the rate of homelessness in Massachusetts include creating a blueprint for homeless individuals to map out their future and increasing the number of shelters in Massachusetts.