Center for Social Policy

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Policy Briefs & Fact Sheets

Fact Sheets on Poverty in Massachusetts, 2008-2012 ACS Estimates

Who is poor in Massachusetts?
How does the Commonwealth fare compared to the US in terms of poverty rates?
Which Massachusetts cities have the lowest and highest poverty rates?

Researchers at the Center for Social Policy have created eight one-page fact sheets on poverty in the Massachusetts using the recently released five-year sample of the American Community Survey.

Each provides information of poverty among a particular demographic groups comparing Massachusetts rates to that in the US, providing the distribution of the whole population and the total poor population, and comparing poverty rates in the 10 largest Massachusetts cities.

Poverty in Massachusetts by:


Homeless Management Information Systems

In 1995, the city of Boston commissioned a study to answer three primary questions:

  • Who currently uses the emergency shelter system?
  • Where have these persons come from?
  • What are their resource needs?

Based on the study results, the Center for Social Policy oversaw the creation and management of the Connection, Service and Partnership through Technology (CSPTech) project, which established a networked computerized recordkeeping system that allowed homeless service providers across Massachusetts to collect uniform client information over time.  This information was aggregated in a database used by service providers, advocates, government officials, researchers, and people experiencing homelessness.  Its overall aim was to understand the extent of homelessness in an attempt to break the cycle of poverty.  

Prior to the establishment of CSPTech, such system-wide information had never been available to the city planners, service providers, and advocacy organizations involved in addressing the resource needs of homeless individuals and families.

CSPTech served the City of Boston, the City of Cambridge, and the State of Massachusetts as well as 113 homeless programs serving individuals, representing over 60 percent of the homeless individual served in emergency shelters in the state during this period.  In 2004 the State took over the program under the Statewide Homeless Operations Research Environment (SHORE) and its Massachusetts Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). initiative