The Worcester Homeless Action Committee is engaged in public policy work as well as direct support for homeless in the community.
WHAC is working for sensible solutions for homelessness in the community, including working to build new structures of restorative justice in the criminal justice system, maximizing energy efficiency measures in shelter and housing to ensure funds can be utilized for programs for the homeless, and looking to support drug courts, an alternative sentencing structure whereby drug offenders receive needed treatment rather than a constant cycling of jail to street.
WHAC also works year round on special projects including food and furniture drives, winter coat drives, and in supporting the creation of better housing opportunities for homeless people.
Statistics on Homelessness
- Estimated homeless population: 2,000 (for Worcester, according to the Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project). (Source: Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program)
- Approximately 10,000 young children (0-5 years) will experience homelessness in Massachusetts this year. (Source: UMASS Boston, McCormack Institute, Report 2000, Meeting the Housing Needs of Lower Income Massachusetts Residents)
- Nationally approximately 500,000 children aged 0-5 years old are homeless in a year. (Source: Urban Institute, 2000)
- Today there are over 1,000 families in shelter in Massachusetts. Within these families, there are 1,000 children under the age of five. (Source: Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance)
- Compared with low-income housed children, homeless children experience more health problems, developmental delays, increased anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, and lower educational achievement. (Source: National Center on Family Homelessness)