There has been plenty of coverage in the media lately regarding Massachusetts residents and homelessness. As we have discussed in the past with members from Construct, there are many families both locally and throughout the state that are facing housing insecurities due to a number of factors including the lack of affordable housing, inflation, increased fuels costs, rent increases, and the list goes on and on. As a result, there are many people throughout Massachusetts that are couch surfing which is staying with family members and/or friends for a temporary amount of time and then moving on to another group of folks that will host the homeless individual. Other people and their families are living in tents which may work in the warmer climate but not so much during other parts of the year and then you have folks that are sleeping in their cars. Some people are even driving over an hour each way to work because they cannot find affordable housing close to their jobs.

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To be perfectly honest, I didn't know exactly how bad the homeless/housing insecurity issue was in Massachusetts until I received some information from Lending Tree that published a study that stated that as of 2023, an estimated 15,507 people in Massachusetts are experiencing homelessness, according to the latest Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) data. Massachusetts's figures account for 3% of the nation’s unhoused population. This means that Massachusetts has the number seven highest homeless rate in the nation. Below is the full ranking by state.

Thank goodness for organizations like Construct that are making a difference and bettering people's lives, particularly on the local level but there is still much to be done to turn this issue around. Lending Tree offers some ideas and solutions to the homelessness issue (though keep in mind the issue itself is complex) which you can check out by going here.

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