Opinion: Homeless need more support

May 18, 2020

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to the letter to the Editor titled “Wareham should do more for homeless people.”

According to the United Stated Interagency Counsel on Homelessness, there were 18,471 people experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts as of January 2019.

As a fellow social work student that has worked and lived in cities, I am appalled at how there is a lack of housing resources for the homeless community in Wareham. With the closest shelters located in New Bedford and on the Cape, it is unrealistic for a homeless person to find suitable shelter. 

As stated in the previous article, there is the Nights of Hospitality and there is Turning Point. However, we can do more.

The National Coalition of the Homeless publication from June 2017 reported on a survey that was conducted at the United Stated Conference of Mayors, in which 25 cities identified that the third leading cause for homelessness and substance abuse was the lack of needed services.

It is a reality that substance use can be correlated with homelessness, but that does not negate the fact that people still need shelter.

As mentioned before, there are many empty buildings in town. I agree, Wareham has the potential to utilize one for a homeless shelter, staff the facility with qualified personnel, and give individuals a more appropriate place to stay for the night.  

Thank you,

Pamela Orton

Boston University Student