Annual Homeless Census
On January 25, more than 300 volunteers gathered at City Hall to help us better quantify homelessness in Boston.
To end chronic homelessness, we need to understand the scope of the problem.
To do that, each year the City of Boston conducts a Homeless Census, where we tally the number of people living on the street, in shelters, or in living situations other than permanent housing.
The Homeless Census counts people in two ways. We track how many people are using services, like emergency shelters, transitional housing, and treatment programs. At the same time, we collect information about household demographics, income level, family size, and the community of origin for each person.
Together, this data helps us understand who we are serving, and what gaps there are in our services. It helps us understand our priorities, so we can design even better policies. Census results also inform federal funding, and help measure progress in our efforts to prevent and end homelessness.