The Boston Globe reports that there are now 1,010 families in motels, including more than 1400 children.
The article describes how the state is responding:
In an effort to quickly move families out of state-funded shelters, the housing department started an emergency program in late July to provide rental assistance to families who need help for up to 12 months. Brooks said 352 families received help in the program’s first month, at a cost of $850,000. She said this is a better use of money than putting them in shelters, where families live an average of eight months at a cost of $24,000 per family.
“We are very early into this, and it is a very serious, complicated project we are taking on,’’ Brooks told the committee. “It is debilitating for children to be in a shelter for a long period of time.’’
The state also is working with property management companies to find vacant units in private developments to house homeless families and is working with community agencies to expand their involvement to help the homeless.
The state is looking forward to $44.5 million in federal stimulus funds, to be made available next month, to help the homeless.