Addressing Youth and Young Adult Homelessness
Subtitle VII-B of The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act authorizes the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program and is the primary piece of federal legislation related to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. It was reauthorized in December 2015 by Title IX, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). learn more about it here. Learn about student homelessness here.
Franklin County-Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP)
In 2019, Community Action Pioneer Valley’s Three County Continuum of Care (CoC) successfully applied on behalf of Franklin County to be designated a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP), one of only 23 communities across the country to receive this designation. The CoC engaged a range of stakeholders who underwent an 8 month planning process to develop a Coordinated, Community Plan (CCP) to end Youth and Young Adult (YYA) Homelessness in Franklin County and to utilize the $1.9 million received as part of this process. Local service providers submitted proposals to implement programs responding to the needs raised in the CCP, which were approved and will be funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) starting in the fall of 2020. The projects will include best practices for working with YYA, including Positive Youth Development, Trauma Informed Care, and Racial and LGBTQ Equity and will adhere to the HUD required YHDP goals.
Read the full Executive Summary and Coordinated Community Plan To End Youth Homelessness for more information about the planning process leading up to submission of these applications to HUD and our plans for improving the system for YYA who are at-risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Here is the list of projects that are funded by the two year demonstration program (began in fall of 2020):
DIAL/SELF Youth and Community Services-Rapid Rehousing Project
4 YYA beds for individuals with supportive services which will include trauma-informed case management addressing health, mental health, education and employment to support YYA moving on to their next steps.
Gandara-Joint Component Transitional Housing/Rapid Rehousing Project
Short-term Transitional Housing for up to 6 young families or individuals and 12 medium-term Rapid Rehousing beds prioritizing young families with supportive services, including education, employment, health, and mental health support, as well as trauma-informed case management with a move-on strategy.
Mental Health Association (MHA)-Housing Navigator/Rapid Rehousing Project
Housing navigation services for YYA and connection to short-term housing resources for up to 6 beds annually.
Mental Health Association (MHA) Permanent Supportive Housing Project
Long-term housing and services for YYA with disabilities, serving up to 8 YYA annually that include individualized case management support.
Community Action Pioneer Valley-Coordinated Entry and HMIS Projects
These projects will focus on the creation of a YYA-specific coordinated entry process, system planning efforts, and our YYA-related data collection and reporting in our Housing Management Information System (HMIS).
The YHDP Community Plan has a clear expectation for Continuous Quality Improvement of our projects and our YYA homelessness response. Click here for information on our CQI process
Resources Related to Youth/Young Adults:
Authentic YYA Collaboration Training Power Point
Articles Related to Youth & Young Adult Homelessness
Bipartisan Efforts Help to Keep Homeless Kids off the Streets by Colleen Smith, 3/18/202, National Conference of State Legislatures
Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS)
In FY’19, Community Action Pioneer Valley was awarded a contract through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to act as the lead agency for the Three County Region (Franklin, Hampshire and Berkshire Counties) for a new Homeless Youth initiative. This includes subcontracts with DIAL/SELF Youth and Community Services and Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority to provide housing and services to unaccompanied youth/young adults under 25 years old.
Lightening Round Data Analysis- FY 2022 EOHHS Homeless Youth Services
See demographic trends over time in the youth/young adults served by this grant in the Three County Region, and the disparities in racial and sexual orientation compared to census data for Franklin, Hampshire and Berkshire Counties. Those who identify as People of Color, LGBTQ+ and/or Female make up disproportional majorities of the YYA served:
2021 Participation in Massachusetts Annual Youth Count. See full 2021 Youth Count Report.
2019 Completion of Community Needs Assessment for Youth/Young Adults
2019 Development of a Youth/Young Adult Action Board in partnership with Community Action Pioneer Valley’s Youth and Workforce Development Program
2020 (FY21) Homeless Youth Program Plan - EOHHS.
2021 Coordinated Community Plan Short term goal accomplishments.
Youth and young adults (up to 25 years of age) in the 3 County region who are experiencing homelessness, or at risk of housing instability, should call the Youth Service Provider in their area that offers YYA emergency housing options and supports:
Hampshire & Franklin Counties:
A youth in crisis or in need of shelter in Franklin or Hampshire County or the North Quabbin region can call the 24/7 line to schedule an intake and access emergency resources
Phone: 413-774-7054 x8 for emergencies, x4 for non-emergency services
Northern Berkshire County (Adams, North Adams, Florida, Cheshire, Savoy, Clarksburg, & Williamstown)
A young adult in crisis or in need of shelter can call Louison House during business hours to schedule an intake and access emergency resources
Phone: 413-663-6323 Ext. 5 or 6
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm
Berkshire County (except Northern cities/towns)
A youth in crisis or in need of shelter can call during office hours
Phone: 413-443-7138 x239; 413-443-7138 x218 (back up phone number)
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-4pm
For more information regarding the Franklin County Coordinated Community Plan or the EOHHS contract, please contact Teri Koopman.