Homelessness Is The Main Driving Force Behind The Rise Of Homelessness

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Homelessness affects an estimated 650,000 Americans in the United States daily and the number of people experiencing homelessness is continuing to rise across the United States and more specifically in Massachusetts. According to the 2014 Annual Homelessness Assessment, between 2013-2014 Massachusetts saw the fourth largest increase in homelessness in the United States and on any given night an estimated 3000 individual shelter beds are occupied ("Basic Facts on," 2016). Furthermore, "homelessness magnifies poor health, exposes those in crowded shelters to communicable diseases, complicates management of chronic illnesses and uncovers deep fault lines in our healthcare system" (O 'Connell et al., 2010). Lack of access to affordable housing is the main driving force behind the rise in homelessness, followed closely by poverty, mental health disabilities, and substance abuse disorders. These individuals need: "services that address their tangible needs for housing, income and employment; access to flexible, low-demand interventions; and long-term continuous treatment and support" (Wells, 2003). Low-threshold housing programs and the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) service model are two promising methods of improving the present situation for the homeless. Low-threshold housing programs are geared toward the chronically homeless population whereas the BHCHP service model is geared toward the general homeless population. According to the federal

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