Home Again: Only a Home Ends Homelessness
Dave McCloskey- Director,People in Peril shelter

 Dave McCloskey was asked to join the Home Again Steering Committee -the core team the led and shaped the program in its early stages- because of his commitment to helping chronically homeless adults and his extensive knowledge of the issue.


As the director of the People in Peril homeless shelter, Dave was excited by the chance to partner with the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts and provide input and direction to the creation of a program that would directly improve the lives of those he worked with at the PIP.


"The Home Again program means that there is opportunity for those chronically homeless people who rely on the PIP shelter to find stable housing," says Dave.  "For a long time, we at the PIP shelter have been frustrated by the lack of options for our guests. Very often some of our guests are ready to move into stable housing and receive support services outside of the shelter but that option has not been available in this area."


Dave credits the interaction between concerned community members and social service professionals that make up the Home Again Advisory Council with giving everyone involved new perspectives on solving homelessness.  "Having many difference voices from the community come together on this issue caused all of us to re-examine our views and come away with a new vision on the causes and solutions to chronic homelessness."


That new vision is based on the proven successes of the "housing first" approach which provides stable housing and support services to chronically homeless people. "Exhaustive reviews of national and state programs to combat homelessness showed that over and over again housing first is a compassionate, effective, and cost saving method that will have a real impact on Worcester's homeless population," says Dave.


Dave admits that he came to the PIP three years ago with many stereotypes of homeless people but he has since seen the individual stories of those who become homeless. "Today, I put faces to the reasons people become homeless and each are more different than I would ever assume: the death of a son, rejection by a spouse, a medical trauma, and financial calamity. There is not a single, easy answer to the reason why people become homeless."