Census shows Boston’s homeless rate was up by 5.2 percent in 2012

A man sleeps on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
A man sleeps on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston.
PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

City officials announced yesterday that the number of homeless people living on the streets of Boston increased by 5.2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to an annual census conducted in December.

On Dec. 12, 2012, there were 6,992 homeless men, women and children living in shelters, on the street, in residential treatment programs or in transitional housing, according to city officials. That’s the night when city officials and volunteers did the count as part of the city’s annual homeless census.

“While the number of homeless individuals living on the streets is lower here in Boston than in other major cities, there’s still an urgent need,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a prepared statement. “We’ve made real strides in housing chronically homeless adults and families in Boston, and it’s more important than ever that we are aggressive in helping people build better lives.”

Data from Boston’s 2012 Homeless Census showed that:

The number of individual homeless adults increased 5.3 percent, from 3,396 last year to 3,577 this year.

The number of individual homeless adults living on the streets on the night of December 12, 2012 was 193, 12 more people than the previous year’s count showed.

The number of individual homeless adults in emergency shelter was up 6.4 percent, from 1,285 last year to 1,367 this year.

The number of individual homeless adults in transitional housing, residential treatment programs, domestic violence shelters, or other programs increased 3.6 percent, from 1,946 last year to 2,017 this year.The number of homeless families in Boston increased 7.8 percent from 1,082 to 1,166 households this year. Once again, officials did not find any homeless families living on the street.

The total number of people in homeless families increased by 5.6 percent, from 3,235 to 3,415.

The number of homeless children increased by 2.2 percent, from 1,928 to 1,971 this year.


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