The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty estimates that more than 3 million people, 1.35 million of them children, experience homelessness in a given year. In today’s economy, even more people are at risk.
More than ever, it is crucial to understand how to help them. The key is in getting a handle on support systems, says sociology major Iraimi Mercado ’12. For her senior thesis, she spent months researching homelessness, focusing on how services impact the lives of women and children living in emergency shelters. She’s hoping her findings can offer policy makers guidance as they create regulations that impact families.
Her research involved one-on-one interviews with single mothers living at the Old Colony YMCA Family Life Center in Brockton, Mass. She explored which services over what period of time have helped them.