In the News

Springfield-Hampden County Continuum of Care Releases Results of 2024 Homeless Point-in-Time Count

The Springfield-Hampden County Continuum of Care has released the results of the 2024 point-in-time count. The count, which is conducted by local homeless organizations throughout the nation during the last week of January each year, provides a snapshot of the number of people who are homeless at that single point in time. The 2024 count identified 2901 homeless people in Hampden County on the night of January 31, 2024, up 8.1% from the number counted in January 2023.

Gerry McCafferty, Springfield’s Director of Housing and administrator of the Springfield-Hampden County Continuum of Care, states: “Unfortunately, we are not surprised by the overall increase in homelessness. Like the rest of Massachusetts and much of the nation, Hampden County does not have enough housing units, which has led to dramatic rent increases in the last few years. At the same time, the influx of federal and state assistance available during the COVID-19 pandemic has now been exhausted, so we have fewer resources to help. These factors come together to drive more people into homelessness and make it harder for people to get back into housing.”

The majority of the people counted were staying in the state’s family emergency shelter system, operated by several providers in multiple locations throughout Hampden County. On the night of the count, 2346 people were in family shelter, up 12% from the prior year. This population included 1355 children under 18 who were in shelter with their parents or guardians. In addition to local families, this population also includes recent migrants who have come to Massachusetts from other countries.

The count of individuals without children was 555, a decrease of 5.9% from the 2023 count.

While the count of individuals without children decreased, more of this population was unsheltered in 2024 than in previous years.  The region has fewer shelter beds now than during COVID-19, and existing beds were full on the night of the count. The count found 177 individuals living outside or in a place unfit for human habitation. In 2023 the unsheltered count was 115. In 2021, when significant pandemic relief funding was available, the unsheltered number was 30.

Looking ahead, the Affordable Homes Act, the $4.1 billion housing bond bill filed by Governor Healey and currently pending in the State Legislature, offers significant promise for lasting housing solutions. “We know the answer to homelessness is housing,” said Pamela Schwartz, Director of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness.  “The Affordable Homes Act is a historic opportunity to address the housing crisis in Hampden County and across the Commonwealth.” The Legislature must pass the bill by July 31, when the formal Legislative Session ends.

Point-in-time counts conducted throughout the country each January are submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are aggregated to make an annual report to Congress. The national counts provide valuable data for policymaking and research.

Locally, homeless service providers do not rely on a once-a-year count of homelessness to understand and respond to the community’s needs. They work every day to help homeless people regain their housing. Our local system is set up to maintain a list of every person experiencing homelessness in our community. Using information collected and shared with their consent, caseworkers track each person to gather and document the data needed to assist them in regaining housing and services needed to regain stability.

In the 12 months before the count, caseworkers helped 731 people get back into housing, and many more homeless people regained housing without the assistance of case workers. Another 204 homeless people were assisted to reunite with family members or to access nursing homes, treatment programs, or extended medical care needed to resolve their homelessness.

Data from the 2024 count is available on the City of Springfield’s website at

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm