Home(less) for the Holidays
On Monday night, hundreds of volunteers, including a number of United Way staff and donors, took to the streets of Boston for its annual homeless census. It was a cold blustery night, like many in New England, which made the task difficult and the goal of reaching every homeless person in the city even more critical.
Every year, for the last 31 years, the City of Boston mobilizes a cadre of volunteers to explore every corner of the city searching for individuals without shelter. The purpose of the census is twofold: to gather data that helps drive policy and capture necessary resources and, most importantly, to provide services to homeless individuals. The census is purposely organized in December when the barometer promises to have dropped. Thus, the individuals identified on the streets are those most desperately in need of help. For me, the fact that the census is held during the Holiday Season provides me an opportunity for reflection and gratitude.
Thanks to the 350 volunteers who braved the cold winds on Monday night and, in particular, to the Area 24 team who trusted my lead and checked every doorway, every alley, and every bridge in Kenmore Square. I look forward to doing it again next year and, hopefully, we will not find anyone homeless for the Holidays in our city.
Give. Advocate. Volunteer. And let’s end homelessness once and for all.