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MassEquality Applauds FY15 State Budget Funding of LGBTQ Youth and Homelessness Programs


EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday July 12, 2014

BOSTON ? July 11, 2014 ? Friday, Governor Patrick approved a new budget that funds LGBTQ homeless programs and services for youth.

"MassEquality applauds the Governor and the Legislature for once again holding LGBTQ issues as a top priority in our Commonwealth. The state's support for these vital programs is central to addressing the serious issues of homelessness and the provision of comprehensive services for LGBTQ youth," said Kara Coredini, executive director of MassEquality. "We are grateful to the champions of LGBTQ equality in the House and Senate who generated, pushed for and voted in favor of these key items in the budget. Their leadership will improve lives."

Included in the budget for fiscal year 2015 is $150,000 for the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission, which conducts studies of the barriers to service for homeless youth under the age of 18 and young adults between 18 and 22. The Commission makes recommendations to the Legislature around services and programs that should be offered to homeless youth and young adults, nearly 40 percent of whom identify as LGBTQ.

The budget also includes $300,000 for the LGBT Youth Commission, an independent body that investigates how public and private resources support LGBTQ youth across the Commonwealth. The funding will allow the commission to further its mandate of making recommendations to the state regarding policies, programs and services that support youth in suicide prevention and violence intervention as well as programs to prevent bullying and discrimination.

Of special note in the budget is funding for the Home and Healthy for Good LGBTQ pilot program run by the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance. The $200,000 allotment will help the MHSA provide housing and support services for homeless LGBTQ youth. More than just a housing placement program, the initiative will provide assistance to clients in their transition from homelessness into a stable living situation.