MA Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission (UHYC)

Working towards a future where experiences of youth homelessness in Massachusetts are rare, brief, and non-recurring.

The purpose of the MA Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission (UHYC) is to study and make recommendations regarding policy and services for unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts, and to provide, in partnership with Homeless Youth Services, comprehensive and effective responses to the unique needs of this population.

Contact Us


1 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108


Dr. Alice Colegrove, Chair, MA UHYC and Director, Homeless Youth Services

Who we serve

The Massachusetts Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission, chaired by Dr Alice Colegrove on behalf of the Secretary of EOHHS Health and Human Services, convenes quarterly and is composed of Commissioners that include members of state government, direct service providers, and young adults with lived experience of homelessness. The UHYC 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 Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission does not provide services directly. Please refer to Homeless Youth Services’  List of  Young Adult Emergency Housing Options and Supports or contact Alice Colegrove, Director, Homeless Youth Services

Who are Unaccompanied Homeless Youth?

The definition agreed upon by the Massachusetts Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in 2013 was that “Unaccompanied Homeless Youth” shall mean: a person 24 years of age or younger who is not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian, and who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. “Fixed” refers to a residence that is stationary, permanent, and not subject to change. “Regular” means a dwelling at which a person resides on a regular basis (i.e., nightly). “Adequate” means that the dwelling provides safe shelter, meeting both physical and psychological needs of the youth.

Data that leads to impact

The MA State Plan to End Youth Homelessness (2018) 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 a key step towards achieving this vision is for both the State and each Region to understand the demographics of youth and young adults experiencing homelessness and the resources designed to serve them.  Such statewide and regional profiles were developed and published in the 2019 report Furthering the Work of the MA State Plan to End Youth Homelessness: A state-level analysis of Community Needs Assessments.

massachusetts unaccompanied homeless youth commission logo

Additionally, every year since 2013, the UHYC has administered the MA Youth Count, a state-wide survey of young adults experiencing homelessness, and in-depth data analysis reports are released each winter.

Massachusetts Youth Advisory Council

A key support to the UHYC is the State-wide Homeless Youth Advisory Council (YAC). The YAC’s goal is to educate, inspire, and inform the work of the UHYC. YAC members are young adults with lived experience of homelessness who convene bi-monthly to offer insight and guidance on state-level policies and programming.  

Applications open every fall, and YAC members are hired for a paid one-year appointment. For more information about the YAC, please contact Ayala Livny at

What Would You Like to Do?

Events, News & Announcements

  • Next meeting 4/23/24 1:30-3pm
    • Please contact for zoom link
      We will be discussing Youth Count 2024 and the Youth Count 2022 Research to Action briefs
  • The MA Youth Count 2024 is here!
    • If you are under the age of 25 and are unstably housed or experiencing homelessness, please take the Youth Count survey between Monday, April 1st and Tuesday, April 30th. Access the survey in one of five languages and read more about the Youth Count at:

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