Dennis Culhane, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Dennis Culhane, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

At a meeting of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness in Massachusetts, all eyes were on Dr. Dennis Culhane, a homelessness and housing expert at University of Pennsylvania.

Culhane made the case that there is an increasing problem of homelessness among people under the age of 30 that will likely carry past youth homelessness into adulthood. Millennials face a daunting labor market, mental health issues, and opioid addiction, with millennial men most likely to fall into homelessness.

A burgeoning number of homeless families are going to strain social service systems across the country, Culhane said, and services are not prepared to deal with the demand for permanent housing rather than shelters.

“Shelter is not the end game. It is just one other resource that is accessed in support of the objective, which is to resolve the housing instability,” Culhane said.

Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash told the Herald the state has been focusing resources on rapid rehousing and permanent housing solutions. The state has promised $1.1 billion for housing development in its five-year capital budget.

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