Medical woes should not speed a descent into homelessness
As one of Boston’s front-line organizations working to prevent financially fragile families from falling into homelessness, FamilyAid Boston applauds Liz Kowalczyk’s front-page account of what has been largely an invisible crisis (“A double diagnosis,” Page A1, Dec 30). Like cancer patient Marie Cajuste, more than 43 families are evicted from their homes each day in Massachusetts, many as the result of a medical or some other financial crisis.
While Cajuste’s children and grandchildren were able to find housing with relatives in other communities, many families are not as lucky: The US Department of Housing and Urban Development recently reported that more than 3,600 people in families reside in Boston emergency shelters every night. That translates into nearly 2,200 homeless children.
Last year, FamilyAid Boston prevented more than 300 families from becoming homeless and assisted another 150 in climbing out of it. But that’s not enough. As we start a new year, we’re hopeful that Cajuste’s plight will be the impetus for providers, philanthropies, the medical community, and government agencies to work together to develop a more pragmatic, coordinated response to aid our city’s most vulnerable.