Worcester Homelessness Crisis

Worcester Homelessness Crisis

Worcester’s Priorities and it’s Impact on the Unhoused Population.


Homelessness in Worcester has been an issue forever. However, in 2007 worcester experienced a huge spike in homelessness (possibly related to the market crash of 2008) and the numbers have been increasing ever since.  There has been constant talk about how Worcester and its people can fix this issue that has been going on for far too long. The city of Worcester has been implementing things like increasing affordable housing,  providing job opportunities  and opening warming centers and community outreach. They have also increased controversial techniques to eliminate homelessness, like camp sweeps, which have caused further displacement of unhoused individuals.



What are some of the Main Causes of Homelessness in Worcester?

The main cause of homelessness in Worcester is the increase in rent over the last couple of years. The rent has increased by 5.9% in just 10 months of 2023.(source ) New landlords most likely also evict old tenants- evictions have increased by 43% in the past year.

Many people just don’t make enough money- minimum wage will not support the median rent in Worcester, even with the increase in Massachusetts. Some tenants just become homeless due to poor decisions, addiction and drugs, or general hopelessness. 

What is the city of Worcester planning on doing right now to help this situation?

New homeless shelters and more and more people are starting to help more so there are many resources if there is anyone in need. 

Current nearby Homeless shelters :

  • Hotel grace 
  • Family shelter 
  • The family house and shelter scattered sites program 
  • Living and freedom together-LIFT inc.
  • Safe shelter 
  • Emergency family shelter assistance 
  • Temporary shelter 

New shelters are currently being built but are temporary until the city finds areas to build permanent shelters.

Emergency shelter at the old Worcester rmv building was just built for the winter season.

Homeless shelter

How does the development of the city of Worcester impact this situation? 

Worcester is trying its best to modernize the city and make sure its a nice place to live but this hasn’t trickled down to work for lower income individuals because of the increase of prices and inflation. This causes more homelessness, but the high income families are fine because it’s getting better for them and a much better place to live. In Worcester, 20 percent of residents live at the poverty line or lower, and the median household income is only 66,000 a year. However, the majority of new build lofts and apartments have extremely high rent- look at this 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment just being built in Kelly Square- a historically low income area of the city.

Rent for a 2 bedroom, one bathroom loft.

This would be roughly 45 percent of the median household income- not a comfortable range for working families in the city. Imagine the cost of a 3-4 bedroom with multiple bathrooms.

Low income families struggle because they can’t afford the modernization and the inflation that’s to come.Worcester is also focused on the outside attraction from visitors and gentrifiers and local small businesses

Worcester housing authority unveiled new apartments.


This is a very serious problem where sometimes the city isn’t focused on the people and more on the outsiders. Worcester needs to worry about how they can fix their own first, so we could be a better society and a community as a whole. Worcester is doing that but not as fast as they should. They need to develop stronger programs and more housing options, because this issue has been going on for far too long and needs to be resolved. We are starting to get that push that we need for the city of Worcester to see how to exactly solve this and they are making those steps by implementing basic improvements to housing and resources. Ultimately, the city needs to balance their economic development with human kindness and. empathy  for those in need.


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