SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The White House has rolled out a plan to ramp up efforts to reduce homelessness in the country.

22News spoke with local organizations about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic weighing heavy on the nation, including job loss and the high cost of living.

“There’s a housing crisis on every level of income,” said Bill Miller, VP of Clinical & Support Options in Springfield, whose organization provides housing services for the homeless. He explained, “The answer to ending homelessness is helping people find housing and it’s the people who are the most poor for the most part.”

The Biden Administration plans to expand the supply of affordable housing and prevent homelessness in the first place. The goal: to reduce the amount of people experiencing homelessness by 25% in 2025.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, just over 582,00 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January of this year, which was a slight increase since 2020. Data shows that nearly 14,000 people experienced homelessness on a single night last January in Massachusetts.

And with the winter months ahead, local organizations are increasing efforts to make sure fewer people are on the streets.

“Our strategy for the winter starts in the summer,” Miller told 22News. “We are housing people as they come in, we are working to get them housed and back on their feet right away. So when winter comes, we aren’t just scrambling, ‘Do we have another shelter bed?'”

Miller added that Clinical & Support Options is expanding their shelter in the new year. “We do have a new housing development in the lot next door with 36 more apartments, 40 more shelter beds.”

The Department of Housing And Urban Development’s latest report also indicates that homelessness is down amongst, veterans, youth, and families with children.

Friends of the Homeless will also be hosting a Winter Walk in February of 2023 to raise funding for services provided for homeless.

For more information on the Winter Walk fundraiser, click here.