Regional homelessness by the numbers

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A report released Friday by the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness documented aspects of the issue across the region. Among the data in the study:

- Number of homeless people counted at one point in time in the four western counties last January: 2,899 (includes people in programs)

- Of that number, 2,190 were members of families, plus 709 individuals; the one-day count of homeless people in Berkshire County was 181

- Number of those homeless ages 18 to 24: 149

- Of those who are homeless and age 18 to 24 nationally, percentage that had been in foster care: Nearly 30 percent

- Percentage of young people who had been in juvenile justice system or jail: Nearly 50 percent

- Number in January count who are veterans: 211

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- Number of individuals in January count without any shelter at that time: 98

- Cost to state of housing homeless families: over $42,000 a year

- Percentage of homeless mothers in Massachusetts with a history of domestic violence: More than 80 percent

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- Percentage of time state domestic violence programs must turn away requests for housing due to overcapacity: 85 percent

- Percentage of Massachusetts community college students who are uncertain about their housing prospects: 49 percent

- Among positive changes in Western Massachusetts since 2012, the network reports that there has been a 38 percent decline in chronic homelessness and a 24 percent decline in veteran homelessness

- Number of Berkshire County households helped by the state's Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, which provides grants to prevent homelessness: 233

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- Average allocation per household: $2,924

- Total RAFT dollars allocated in fiscal year 2018 through Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority: $677,285

- List of Berkshire County RAFT cases by community: Adams (2), Cheshire (3), Clarksburg (1), Dalton (3), Great Barrington (3), Lanesborough (3), Lee (2), North Adams (37), Pittsfield (177), Southfield (1), Stockbridge (1)

- Number of cases handled by Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority that resulted in preserving existing housing and preventing homelessness: 222

- Number of Berkshire County households served by housing authority in year that ended June 30: 2,229

- Number of households preserved through authority's programs that year: 863

SOURCES: Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness; Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority


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