By Kristen Lobo
Before leaving office, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth bill into law providing shelter and services to homeless youth on Tuesday, January 6th. According to the law, a homeless young person is defined as “a person 24 years of age or younger who is not in the physical custody or care of a parent or legal guardian and who lacks a fixed, regular nighttime residence.”
In the spring 2014 semester, Mr. Barry Collin’s history class at Madison Park Technical-Vocational High School advocated for the passage of this law with the help of their Northeastern University Democracy Coach (and current Chapter Director), Kristen Lobo.
The class felt strongly about this issue after learning that their own classmates were facing homelessness. In 2013, over 19,000 people experienced homelessness in Massachusetts, and during that 2012-2013 academic year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education estimated
that over 15,000 students experienced homelessness.
Through collaboration with the MA Coalition for the Homeless
, the students reached out to their representatives with phone calls, emails and petitions. Through these actions, they realized that they could take political action to make a difference in their communities, using Coalition is the United States’ oldest statewide advocacy organization committed to ending homelessness.
We are so proud of this collaborative work and successful advocacy! Congratulations to all who were involved.
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