Homeless Families: A quick look at the numbers

How many families are in crisis?

  • Nationwide 2 million families experience homelessness each year.
  • Currently about 3,600 families are in emergency shelters in Massachusetts. This means that more than 7,200 children are staying in a shelter tonight.
  • Families remain in shelter, on average, for a year before finding housing.

Who Are They?

  • 84% of families that are homeless are headed by women.
  • 92% of these women have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
  • In 29% of families that are homeless, someone is employed.

How Homelessness Affects the Children

  • 32% of homeless children repeat a grade in school.
  • Children who experience homelessness are sick 4 times more often than others and have 3 times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems.

What Does It Cost?

  • A family living in a shelter for 1 year will cost the state about $43,800.
  • In contrast, it costs about $14,500 a year to serve a family through Home with Friends.

Did you know …?

  • Fair Market Rental for the Boston/South Shore area is $1,740/month for a 2-bedroom apartment.
  • A parent working full-time at minimum wage ($11/hour) will only gross $1,906/month.
  • Financial planning experts suggest not spending more than 30% of your income on housing. A family renting a typical 2-bedroom apartment in our area needs to earn $69,680/year — or $33.50/hour to meet that guideline.