In the cookie-cutter model of the ten year plans to end chronic homelessness across the county, yesterday Springfield held a Project Connect event for homeless and poor people.
By all accounts, it was a very successful event. In one place, people were able to accomplish what it otherwise takes an incredible amount of energy to accomplish: getting birth certificates and Mass. I.D., health screenings, and social security applications. Nineteen people found housing.
My sister did voter registration at the event yesterday. She said it was announced that the event cost $1,000,000.
Not to take away from any accomplishments yesterday, but here's how a poor person might think about this;
Say the average rent for an efficiency apartment is $500. $1,000,000 divided by $500 is 2,000 months of rent. 2,000 divided by 12 months is 167. In other words, 167 homeless people could have been provided housing for a year. That happens to be about the number of single homeless people in Springfield.
So how is it again that we are going to end homelessness in Springfield?