Saturday, May 25, 2024

Passersby talk with an unhoused person in Harvard Square on Sept. 27. (Photo: Marc Levy)

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Homelessness appointed in May and led by councillor Marc McGovern has filed its final report Monday with 34 short-, mid- and long-term proposals. They range from emergency rental assistance for people at imminent risk of homelessness; creation of a low-threshold 24-hour drop-in center with storage space and showers; and creation of an office of homelessness response with a “homelessness czar” position and extend to opening supervised drug and alcohol consumption sites (an idea being considered by Somerville); and more housing, possibly with “a time-limited moratorium on market-rate housing development to focus on creating low-income housing.” There are 500 people on the streets on any given night, and they are disproportionately black and Hispanic, the report notes.