These Innovative Collaborations Are Working Together To End Youth Homelessness | Blog


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BLOG POST FOR UNITED WAY OF Massachusetts Bay AND Merrimack Valley


On any given night in Boston, more than 300 youth and young adults (YYA) are sleeping in shelters or out on the street with thousands more couch surfing yet still technically unhoused. But YYA homelessness is often considered a “hidden” problem as it’s a population often dismissed as transient. This creates a huge gap in services and support, making housing youth and young adults in stable, secure housing extremely difficult. Moreover, this epidemic hits BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ young people particularly acutely.  

To paint the picture:  

  • Around 50% of YYA experiencing homelessness identify as Black  
  • Up to 35% identify as Hispanic or Latinx 
  • Around 25% identify as LGBTQ+  
  • Nearly 50% have been involved in the justice system  
  • Up to 39% have been in foster care  

It’s time to end this. It’s up to us to change the systems and policies in place to uplift these young people and provide them with safe, supportive housing and wrap-around services that will empower them to thrive. But we know no one organization can do it alone. It takes a village of community partnerships and lived experience to create true, lasting change. So, we’re uniting our community to form these connections. 

“Youth experiencing homelessness need so much more than a roof over their heads. They need our support, our guidance and must develop the life skills needed for long-term success. We need to make sure that all programs and services that address youth homelessness include the support services that are so critical to youth development.” Elisabeth Jackson, CEO Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Here’s a look into some of the most innovative local community partnerships working to address and end youth homelessness.