The Barnstable County Dept. of Human Services, in conjunction with Matthew Aronson Consulting, has completed a Community Needs Assessment (CNA) Update building on the assessment completed in September 2019. The CNA Update reviews the key findings and recommendations from the 2019 CNA and provides information on the services and resources available to Youth and Young Adults (YYA) experiencing housing instability across the region, including new initiatives. The update also provides data on the prevalence and characteristics of Unaccompanied Homeless YYA as partner agencies expand engagement through community collaboration.
In addition to the CNA Update, the Regional Network on Homelessness Youth Action Board and the YYA Homelessness Committee have developed prioritized strategies for 2022-2023 to continue the work of addressing and ending YYA Homelessness on the Cape and Islands. The CNA update and the Prioritized Strategies can be viewed here:
The Massachusetts Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth was established in 2013 to study and make recommendations regarding unaccompanied homeless Youth and Young Adults (YYA). The commission released the Massachusetts State Plan to End Youth Homelessness which envisions a “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.” The Executive Office of Health and Human Services allocated funds to youth serving agencies and their partners ensuring statewide coverage in ten regions which supports housing and services for YYA who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Additional state wide needs analysis can be found here: Furthering the Work of the MA State Plan to End Youth Homelessness: A state-level analysis of Community Needs Assessments from the ten EOHHS Homeless Youth Program Regions
In 2018, the Barnstable County Department of Human Services (BCDHS) was awarded funding to lead the efforts on the Cape and Islands to enact the recommendations of the Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. BCDHS identified five partner agencies- Housing Assistance Corporation, Homeless Prevention Council, Champ Homes, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and Fairwinds Nantucket Counseling- to deliver services and resources to the community.
The partners work to identify and engage YYA experiencing housing instability, utilize flexible funds to ensure their basic needs are met and establish a trusting relationship that fosters connections to housing opportunities, access to physical and behavioral healthcare and long- term case management services to help with sustaining housing solutions.
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Young Adult Service Providers
Community Needs Assessment
Between February and June 2019 the Barnstable County Department of Human Services, with Matthew Aronson Consulting, conducted a Youth and Young Adult (YYA) Homelessness Community Needs Assessment to explore the homelessness system and individual needs of YYA on Cape Cod and the Islands. Community members, service partners, and YYA with lived experience provided input via interviews, focus groups, and surveys on prevention and intervention services and resources for those currently experiencing homelessness. The assessment investigated the experiences of a number of sub-populations including individuals under the age of 18, and between the ages of 18 and 24 (both parenting and unaccompanied) and considered the issues of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity to understand YYA needs related to stable housing, education, employment, health and wellbeing, and permanent connections.
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