The men and women BOSS serves are 100% very low-income. Over 80% are homeless, and 20% are marginally housed (low income and continued risk of homelessness).

BOSS serves nearly 1,500 new people each year, both single adults (90%) and families with children (10%). The percentage of families is higher in the homeless population (30%): our figure represents the configuration of our programs.

55% of BOSS participants are men, 45% are women. BOSS serves all ages—from newborns to seniors. Because poverty disproportionately affects minorities, the majority (65%) are African American, although all races/ethnicities are served (24% Caucasian, 3% Latino, 2% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American, 5% mixed or other).

BOSS Participants

radar graph of BOSS participants needs

  • Deep poverty – 100% are without income, very low-income, or on fixed income (Social Security, disability, veterans, unemployment or other public benefits)
  • Mental illness or dual diagnosis (mental illness plus substance abuse) – 70%
  • Substance abuse or in active recovery – 80%
  • Education – 35% have below a High School education
  • HIV/AIDS – 5-10%
  • Unemployment – 92% (those who do work often work part-time, earn below a minimum wage, and do not have health benefits)


The Voices of BOSS Participants

In October 2015 we collected pieces submitted by BOSS participants. We selected a letter and a story from these submissions and built a newsletter around them. We named it ‘Voices of BOSS,’ the first newsletter written for and by BOSS participants.

Click the link below to view the first issue of Voices of BOSS.

Winter 2015 Voices of BOSS Newsletter

See the current issue of Voices of BOSS, the Spring 2016 issue HERE