Winter is coming, and 22News looked into the resources available for the regions most vulnerable.
Friends of the Homeless, Springfield’s only state funded shelter, told 22News keeping the homeless off the street is a year-round job.
“You know, about ten percent of the people who live in poverty will end up homeless on any given year,” said Bill Miller, vice president of housing and homeless services for clinical and support options.
More than 100,000 people have spent at least one night in a homeless shelter since 2008. Springfield, which has a high poverty rate, has seen its share of people sleeping on the street.
Not only is the cold unsafe and uncomfortable to sleep in, but for some homeless people who suffer from behavioral or medical problems, being exposed to the cold can put them at risk.
Friends of the Homeless offers 3 meals, 100 warm beds, and relief from the cold.
“But frankly, in the cold weather and sometimes not so cold weather, the need is great,” Miller said. “Unfortunately, people will end up sleeping on the floors, as well. But we rather have them indoors, then outdoors, if we can possible help it.”
According to Miller, the city has made some positive changes to its winter shelter plan– partnering with the Springfield Police Department, health services, and outreach workers to make sure no one has to spend the night in frigid cold weather.
If you know someone experiencing homelessness, here is a list of resources:
- Grove Street Inn. 91 Grove St. Northampton MA 413-586-6001
- Cot Shelter. 43 Center St. Nhampton MA, 413 586-6750
- Samaritan Inn. 7 Free St. Westfield MA 413-568-3122
- Craig’s Place. 256 Pleasant St. Amherst MA 413-437-0776
- Springfield Rescue Mission, Men Only 148 Taylor St. Springfield MA 413-732-0516
- Springfield Rescue Mission, Sober Living Program, Men Only. 10 Mill St. Springfield MA 413-732-0808
Domestic Violence Shelters
- DV Hot Line Safe Link. 1-877-785-2020
- YWCA Domestic For Single’s And Families. 413-733-7100
- The Living Room. 21 Warwick St. Letter L Springfield MA 413-310-3312
- Crisis. 417 Liberty St. SPFLD MA 413-733-6661
- Carlson Springfield MA 413-733-1431
- Providence. Holyoke MA 413-539-2981
- Open Door Social Services. 287 State St. Middle Floor, Springfield MA 413-737-7062
- Arise for Social Justice. 467 State St. Springfield MA 413-734-4948.
CSO/Northampton 8 Atwood Drive, Northampton MA, 01060 413-582-0471.
DTA. 243 Cottage Street. Springfield MA 413-858-1000.
Health Services for the Homeless
- 755 Worthington Street. Springfield MA 413-337-9100
- New North Citizen Council. 2455 Main Street Springfield MA 01107 413-746-4885
- Essential Thrift. 501 Worthington Street Springfield MA 413-734-9946
- The Shine Program (Gandara) 413-507-0778 or 413-439-3792
- Crisis (BHN) 413-733-6661.