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Y2Y Harvard Square, a student-run overnight shelter, employs a youth-to-youth model to provide a safe and affirming environment for young adults experiencing homelessness. Y2Y guests have opportunities to collaborate with service providers, other youth experiencing homelessness, and student volunteers to create sustainable pathways out of homelessness and develop skills for long-term success. Y2Y provides opportunities for both guests and volunteers to become the next generation’s leading advocates for youth-driven solutions to homelessness.
In 2012, staff members at PBHA’s Harvard Square Homeless Shelter (HSHS) realized that there was potential to do more to serve the community of people experiencing homelessness in Greater Boston. They discovered an urgent and growing need that was receiving inadequate resources. After a long feasibility process of research and discussions with advisors and service providers, the students determined that the ideal way for HSHS to expand and improve its services would be to create a shelter dedicated to meeting the unique needs of young adults. Since then, the group has grown to include graduate students, faculty, advocates, community members, and service providers. Today, we are working together to make our vision: a network of communities where all young adults experiencing homelessness have a safe place to rest, grow, and lead, a reality.