Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cambridge Census Reveals Sharp Increase in Homeless Families, Individuals

By: Julia Waterhous

The recently released tenth annual 2009 Cambridge Homeless Census Report, a joint report between Cambridge and Somerville, showed a 33 percent increase in the number of homeless in Cambridge since a year ago last January. The number of homeless families increased significantly while the  number of homeless individuals dropped 7 percent. In January, seven teams led by CASPAR's First Step program went throughout Cambridge and Somerville in the early morning to find as many unsheltered homeless as they could. Fred Berman, planner with the Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs acknowledged that the numbers were unsettling but said they could be misleading too. The number of homeless families in Cambridge may have appeared to increase because the state has been housing homeless families at the Cambridge Gateway Inn; so there are more homeless families in Cambridge.

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