Massachusetts has apparently decided that families aren’t really homeless unless there are children who have slept in a place not fit for human habitation. Notice the past tense. If a family is seeking emergency shelter as an alternative to sleeping in a car the answer appears to be, “Go sleep in the car. Then come back later. Then we’ll send somebody around to inspect to make sure you actually slept in the car eventually when we get around to it and hopefully you’ll still be parked in the same place.
While it’s great to hope that everybody can have stable, affordable housing, there’s an immediate need for safety. Nobody wants to live in a homeless shelter. Nobody is going to opt for a shelter over stable, affordable housing. And forcing children into danger doesn’t solve homelessness.
The video above is pretty good summary of what’s going on and what you can do about it. (As a warning, some of the stories are pretty upsetting1.) If you’re in Massachusetts, call some legislators