Weekly Wonder: Youth and young adult homelessness in Massachusetts

By Jenny Rollins
BU News Service

BOSTON — Every night across Massachusetts, hundreds of homeless youth and young adults settle down for the night without a permanent home. Recent data shows that over the course of a year, the number adds up to over 3,000 in Massachusetts.

Many of these young people between the ages of 14 and 24 were not fully counted by the HUD’s Point-in-Time (PIT) method, which involves initiating a count during the last 10 days of January. Four years ago, the Massachusetts Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth began the Massachusetts Youth Count to specifically focus on researching the numbers and characteristics of these youth every year.

The leading causes the commission found for youth and young adults no longer having a home have to do with family conflict, the top four being fighting with parent(s) or guardian(s), being told to leave, wanting to leave and abuse or neglect.

In order to combat the high number of homeless youth and young adults in Massachusetts, Mayor Marty J. Walsh and the members of Boston’s Youth Action Board came together to launch “Rising to the Challenge: Ending Youth” in April earlier this year.

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