Last week, the Boston City Council unanimously approved a resolution calling for passage of “An Act Providing Housing and Support Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth.” The bill would create a state Commission to study the issue of homeless youth and make recommendations on the services available and needed by homeless teens. MassEquality will have a spot on this Commission.
MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini issued the following statement in response to the Boston City Council vote:
“The Boston City Council has sent an important and encouraging message to homeless youth living in Massachusetts by voting unanimously to encourage state lawmakers to pass this bill. There are nearly 6,000 high school students in Massachusetts who are living on the streets and not in the care of a parent or guardian.
“Up to 40 percent of them are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and they are homeless because they have been rejected by their families. Indeed, rejection by their families is why 25 percent of lesbian or gay teens experience homelessness as compared with just three percent of heterosexual teens.
“These teens need care and that care can start with this bill. We applaud City Councilors-at-Large Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo, who sponsored this resolution and all the City Councilors who voted in support. We are also thankful for the hard work of State Representative Jim O’Day of West Boylston and State Senator Katherine Clark of Melrose who are the lead sponsors of this legislation.”