The Massachusetts Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth was established through Outside Section 208 of the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Budget, signed into law on July 8, 2012. The UHY Commission was then reconstituted through Chapter 450 of the Acts of 2014.17 The purpose of the Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth is to study and make recommendations regarding services for unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts, to ultimately provide comprehensive and effective responses to the unique needs of this population.”
Emergency Response for Young Adults in MA
Every region in Massachusetts has emergency shelter/housing set aside specifically for young adults, in addition to the existing adult shelter system. Regional leads are also working to open new emergency spaces as well as permanent housing solutions that meet the individual needs of young people, as they have since before the pandemic. See a complete list of young adult bed locations and how to access them here, and see more emergency resources for youth and young adults here.
Who we serve
Unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults under age 25
“Our goal is to build a system in which every community in the Commonwealth has coordinated, developmentally appropriate, and trauma-informed resources that are effective, regionally accessible, and reliably funded”. -The Massachusetts State Plan to End Youth Homelessness
The MA State Plan to End Youth Homelessness includes a vision to “build a system in which every community in the Commonwealth has coordinated, developmentally appropriate, and trauma-informed resources that are effective, regionally accessible, and reliably funded.” It also establishes that the first step towards achieving this vision is for both the State and each Region to understand the demographics of youth and young adults (YYAs) experiencing homelessness and the resources designed to serve them.
To this end, in 2019, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services required each of the ten regionally funded partners to submit a community needs assessment (CNA) to the MA Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness. The result of this work is Furthering the Work of the MA State Plan to End Youth Homelessness: A state-level analysis of Community Needs Assessments from the ten EOHHS Homeless Youth Program Regions. This report and the accompanying regional summaries describe the statewide profile of YYA experiencing homelessness in the Commonwealth as well as recommendations for continuing the work to end youth homelessness.
Are you a young person experiencing homelessness right now?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is deeply committed to preventing and ending youth and young adult homelessness. “ The Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission (UHYC) released the MA State Plan to End Youth Homelessness in 2018, and implementation of the plan is underway. In FY 2020, the Baker Administration and the Legislature supported a $5 mil investment in housing and services for youth and young adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services has allocated funds from the youth appropriation to youth serving agencies and their partners insuring statewide coverage in ten regions which supports housing and services for youth and young adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Additionally, since 2013 the UHYC has administered the MA Youth Count, a state-wide survey of young adults experiencing homelessness and housing instability. The UHYC in partnership with the MA CoCs until 2019 and now via the ten regional-leads receive funding to provide state-wide coverage for supports and services for young adults experiencing homelessness and housing instability. You can learn more about the Plan, the Youth Count, Regional Youth Service Providers, as well as ways to get involved, on this page.