Homeless Families in Danvers Motels Spike To Highest Number Since July '11
Despite a relief program implemented last summer, the number of families living in motels in Danvers has spiked to 149 this week.
The number of homeless families living among four Danvers motels spiked to the highest it has been since July 2011, reaching 149 families this week.
At Tuesday night's selectmen's meeting, Town Manager Wayne Marquis told the Selectmen that despite the Home Base program's efforts, and a slight decrease in September 2011, the number of families began growing again in November, and have continued to rise since.
"Our ultimate goal this year is to empty the motels in Danvers," Beth Hogan, executive director of the North Shore Community Action Program (NASCAP) said at a special Board of Selectmen meeting held in August 2011.
Over the period of 12 months, the goal was to move 15 to 20 families per month from motels into permanent affordable housing.
Despite the Home Base program's goal, the current number of families spread between the four Danvers motels is currently the highest it has been since last July, spiking from 139 to 149 families this past week.
Director of Senior and Social Services Pam Parkinson said the past week's spike in 10 families is not good news, but it's too soon to tell if it will become a trend.
Project Sunshine Offered For Second Year
Registrations are currently underway for the eight-week recreational program for homeless children, who otherwise would be playing in motel parking lots over the summer, Marquis said.
This year's budget has been slated at $35,000, roughly $10,000 more than last year. The program has been bumped from six week to eight weeks, and because there are more homeless children this year, the town is expecting to see an increase in enrollment.
Marquis said that while they had hoped that the program would be a one-time only project, that unfortunately was not the case.
Last Thursday, Diversity Committee member Sally Kearns organized the Rays of Hope for Project Sunshine benefit concert at the Village Green. Through admission, raffles, and a silent auction, the concert raised more than $7500 for the children's summer recreation program.
The town is accepting grants, and tax-deductible donations for the Project Sunshine program.
Checks can be made out to the Town of Danvers, with Project Sunshine written in the notation.
For more information about the program, contact Danvers Recreation at 978-777-0001 ext. 3094.