In an article in yesterday’s Worcestor Telegram, the City of Worcestor is being called the first community in the country to eliminate chronic homelessness.
In November 2007, Community Healthlink and South Middlesex Opportunity Council, two nonprofit agencies that serve homeless people, counted 197 people who were chronically homeless, according to David E. McCloskey, director of PIP, which is now pointedly renamed the Greater Worcester Housing Connection. Under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition, those 197 people are people who have been homeless for at least a year or four times in three years.
“Today there are only two chronically homeless people who are not housed,” Deborah J. Ekstrom,Community Healthlink president and CEO, said last week. “We believe this is a first in the country.”
Worcester’s efforts have made federal officials sit up and take notice. “Worcester is really in the forefront in its efforts to deal with homelessness,” said Rhonda Siciliano, public affairs officer of the regional office of HUD.