Shining a Light on Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Liberty Mutual seeks to be a catalytic leader, pushing collaborative planning and action by our private, public and nonprofit partners. We encourage work, by and on behalf of youth, resulting in organic solutions to significantly diminish, if not eradicate, the number of unaccompanied young people experiencing homelessness in Boston by 2020.
Why a special focus? Listening to grantees:
In 2014, after seven years of making basic services grants, Liberty Mutual began to fund interventions for youth experiencing homelessness when multiple nonprofit partners from all three of our strategic funding areas (Accessibility, Security and Opportunity) reported growing numbers of young people living on their own. The lack of a safe and stable home was a major barrier for teens and it was impeding success in education, employment, and in life. While housing and services existed for homeless adults and families, there was a gap in options that addressed the specific social and emotional needs of unaccompanied adolescents and young adults.
The observations of agency leaders were verified by the Voices of Youth Count Initiative (http://voicesofyouthcount.org/brief/national-estimates-of-youth-homelessness/
conducted by researchers at Chapin Hall with help from other nonprofits). Research confirmed that as many as one in ten youth and young adults were unstably housed. A sampling that included Suffolk County as one of 22 locations around the United States found that here-- as many as 56% of the youth experiencing homelessness had either been in foster care and/or the criminal justice system. A disproportionate number of the young people in need of services were Black and Latino and many were LGBTQ. In 2017 and 2018, primarily in Boston, Liberty committed $2,384,000 for 24 local and two national grants that work collaboratively to make certain that homelessness for youth and young adults is brief and episodic. We’re also proud to support efforts in Seattle and Dallas working with nonprofit partners, federal, state and city agencies and other funders on this important issue area.