April 25, 2019
 
Seven Mass. Nonprofits Get $2.1M for Homeless Youth

February 1, 2019 — Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday announced that the state has awarded a total of $2,172,340 to seven nonprofits across Massachusetts in connection with a comprehensive plan to end youth homelessness in the state by connecting homeless youth with education, employment, and housing supports and services.

The organizations will address youth and young adult homelessness in a variety of ways, targeted to meet the specific demographic and geographic needs of each region.

“Youth and young adult homelessness can be solved with targeted and incremental investment in the housing and services tailored to their needs,” said Linn Torto, executive director of the state Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness. “The funding for homeless and at risk youth will be dedicated to developing a network of interventions, services and housing models in each region of the state so that every young adult who experiences homelessness will have timely access to emergency and transitional support.”

Funds can be used for housing, transportation, education and case management support. Each region has developed a winter response for youth who are without housing during the cold months as well as specific strategies to address the unique needs of undocumented, unaccompanied youth.

Receiving the funds were the following:
  • Community Action Pioneer Valley, Berkshire, Franklin & Hampshire counties: $325,000

  • L.U.K. Crisis Center, Worcester County: $325,000

  • Catholic Social Services of Fall River,Bristol County: $300,000

  • Father Bill’s and MainSpring, Plymouth & East Norfolk counties: $300,000

  • Community Teamwork, North Middlesex County: $325,000

  • South Middlesex Opportunity Council, South Middlesex & West Norfolk counties: $272,340

  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Metro Boston: $325,000
John Yazwinski, president and CEO of Father Bill’s & MainSpring in Brockton, said, “Young adults should not be worried about where they're going to sleep at night. They should be thinking about where they're going to attend college and planning for their future. This grant funding will help make that possible.”

Massachusetts developed a plan to address unaccompanied homeless youth that includes implementing a coordinated statewide response to youth homelessness; expanding the current spectrum of accountable and evidence informed models of housing and services; enhancing early identification, connection, and outreach systems to assist homeless young people as they transition from high school to college; improving education, employment, and credentialing opportunities in order to support young people’s access to long-term, sustainable employment and income; creating systematic outcome measurement systems and data sharing opportunities; and creating a structure to support authentic youth and young adult involvement statewide.

A January 2018 point-in-time count conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development identified 20,068 individuals in Massachusetts who experienced homelessness, which included an influx of refugees from Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria.

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