The definition of homelessness includes those who are currently without housing, but also those who are “doubled up” with family and friends, those who will be without housing within 14 days (i.e., about to get evicted), and those whose current housing situation is life-threatening (i.e., victims of domestic violence). This broader range of at-risk people experiencing homelessness can often be prevented from actually becoming homeless with relatively minimal interventions. Boston’s HomeStart program, which works to prevent homelessness and stabilize housing, cites that in 2014 the average rental assistance payment through their Prevention Program was $750, while the average cost to the state to provide emergency shelter is around $30,000. Other programs like Modest Needs help to crowdsource this funding – to help families in crisis gain the resources they need at the right time that can help prevent their situation from becoming dire.
Housing Crisis Center
Homestart Homeless Prevention Program
Homeless Prevention Program