Springfield's Homelessness Initiative

We Can End Homelessness in Ten Years

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announces an overall reduction in the number of homeless in Springfield.

The prevailing belief of many living, working or serving in urban areas is that homelessness is a permanent condition.  It isn’t.  Today, Springfield and our region are at the forefront of a new national effort to end homelessness.  The effort is starting to show results.

Over the past two years, Springfield’s efforts have resulted in a 65% reduction in street homelessness (individuals who literally live on the streets) and an 18% reduction among all single individuals (those who are on the streets and in shelter).

The City of Springfield launched its ten-year plan to end homelessness, Homes Within Reach, in January 2007.  We issued a Report to the Community about our progress toward meeting the goals of the plan in October 2008.  The most recent results are from a point-in-time count of homeless people in the City conducted in late January 2009. 

A Regional Approach

Because we recognize that homelessness crosses geographic boundaries, Springfield has partnered with our regional neighbors to create a Pioneer Valley plan to end homelessness: All Roads Lead Home, released in February 2008.  This plan addresses homelessness among both individuals and families.

Springfield has worked actively with other municipalities, service providers, educators, the private sector and faith communities to create the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently awarded the Network $1.1 million in pilot funds for innovative approaches to ending homelessness throughout the region.  The funds will be used for homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing for those who become homeless, and stabilization services for chronically homeless people moving into permanent housing.

The True Cost of Homelessness

Homeless people need much more than a bowl of soup and a blanket.Temporary housing for the homeless and crisis services such as emergency room treatment, substance abuse and mental health care, police and court costs, can range from $35,000 to $150,000 per person, per year.

In contrast, giving a homeless person a permanent place to live and the support services they need to keep from ending up back on the streets costs between $13,000 and $25,000 per person per year.

Page last updated:  Friday, May 24, 2013 01:09 pm