NORTHAMTPON, Mass. (WWLP) – A book presentation in Northampton Wednesday night addressing homelessness as it continues to increase across the state.

Author Tracy Kidder and Harvard Medical School Professor Dr. Jim O’Connell met with guests at Edwards Church in Northampton as part of Broadside Bookshop’s evening conversation on the current crisis.

As of early 2022, nearly 14,000 people in Massachusetts are currently experiencing homelessness. Risk factors for homelessness like substance use, domestic violence, and job loss all increased during the pandemic. Homelessness is also hitting some racial groups more than others.

“When you look at the root causes, it’s in addition to poverty and racism and income inequality,” Dr. O’Connell explained. “These are folks that had terrible experiences as kids, they were in poor schools or blighted areas, and going in and out of foster care… so the care they need is pretty intense.”

Increasing funding across the state will also help those who are homeless have a place to stay, instead of being out on the street.