Family Homeless Shelter

WAMC

   A new report says progress is being made on reducing homelessness in the four counties of western Massachusetts.

WAMC

Progress is being made in reducing the number of homeless families and individuals living in emergency shelters, motels and on the streets in western Massachusetts, according to a report issued today.

The report from the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness highlighted a 34 percent drop in overall family homelessness – including a sharp reduction in the number of families living in motels from 284 to 49 – and a 27 percent decline in homeless veterans over the last year.

WAMC

The mayor of the third- largest city in Massachusetts is claiming a victory in a fight over the expansion of a state-funded program to shelter homeless families in congregate housing.

A state board has ruled that the use of single apartments to “co-shelter” multiple families is a violation of the city’s of Springfield’s building codes and has “life safety implications.”   The city cited a nonprofit social service agency for residential code violations after inspectors discovered 3-4 families to a single apartment in several buildings in one neighborhood.

Rev. Frank O'Connor, co-Vice President Family Promise of the Capital Region Board of Directors, cuts the ribbon at 783 New Scotland Avenue.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Over the weekend, Family Promise opened a new day center along Albany's New Scotland Avenue. The appearance of the program in the upscale neighborhood has some cheering, others scratching their heads.

The city of Burlington has rejected a plan by the owners of a hostel in Vermont's largest city to use their Main Street facility as a "wholesome" shelter for homeless families during the winter.

Officials say the steady flow of backpackers and other traditional users of the 48-bed hostel dries up in the winter and the Burlington Hostel has closed in past years.

The local anti-poverty agency, the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, says there's a need for housing for homeless families.