Housing Accessibility And Homelessness

Western Massachusetts Policy Center will discuss and work through homelessness in the think tank method - in this image we see a car full of items which symbolize homelessness in our community.

Some of the most difficult and often visible issues in the larger towns and cities of Western Mass are homelessness and a lack of affordable housing. In 2022, for example, nearly 3,000 people across the region were experiencing homelessness – more than half of whom were parents and children.

Not only is this a human rights and public health issue, but it often places excess pressure on law enforcement agencies, local business owners, social service organizations, schools and healthcare facilities.

But, as anyone who has worked with homeless populations will tell you, tackling the problem isn’t just about creating places to live. It requires comprehensive mental health services, food security, addiction treatment, healthcare procurement, disability & veteran’s services, domestic violence protection and a host of other interventions.

We support practitioners, municipal authorities and direct service organizations by devising holistic and creative policy solutions that help preserve the human dignity to which we’re all entitled, and to procure and direct resources toward holistic, people-centered solutions.

Meanwhile, we also work in support of policy, regulation and partnerships that create vitally necessary additional affordable housing, and protect renters from predatory, unfair, substandard or unsafe living conditions.

Northampton’s economic future in hands of local banks

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Letter to the Editor, 5 May 2022