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Annual Homeless Census

Last updated: 12/8/17

Annual Homeless Census

On January 31, 2018, volunteers will gather at City Hall to help us better quantify homelessness in Boston.

Volunteer registration is now open. Join us!

Still have questions? Contact:
Neighborhood Development
26 Court Street
8th, 9th, and 11th Floors
Boston, MA 02108-2501
United States

From Homeless to Home

Census website graphic

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. 

Helping the Homeless

Other Ways You Can Help

Join the
Winter Walk Boston on February 11, 2018 to support street outreach, advocacy, job training and home placement service providers in our community.

Finding safe and affordable units for homeless individuals in Boston is our goal, and we can’t do it without you! The City of Boston is piloting a
Landlord Guarantee Fund. We're giving resources and financial help to small landlords new to renting to homeless households. Other cities have put in place similar programs and found success.

Program participation benefits include motivated tenants, a dedicated landlord partner, access to landlord resources including mediation services, and access to funds for losses including unpaid rent and excessive damages. Through this program, we are creating opportunities for you to provide a stable place to call home for some of the most vulnerable residents in our City.

New Life Furniture Bank is an essential partner in the City's initiative to end chronic and veteran homelessness. They need a variety of different types of volunteers. See more information

New England Center and Homes for Veterans is ending homelessness through housing and employment. View information about volunteering.

Friends of Boston's Homeless is dedicated to helping people move beyond homelessness into stability. View more information about volunteer opportunities

St Francis House: Whether they work in the kitchen, distribute clothing, or assist with mock interviews, volunteers help ensure the quality of St. Francis' services for Boston’s poor and homeless.  Learn more.

More than 5,000 volunteers every year help Pine Street Inn provide shelter, housing and other crucial services to homeless men and women. Donations of time and talent help us continue the mission of ending homelessness. Learn more about volunteering at the Pine Street Inn

Friends of Boston's Homeless Housewarming 

Donate clothes to St Francis House 

Donate food to Pine Street Inn