Quick Facts: Massachusetts

​​​​​​​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 83% of metrics met
     
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 92% of metrics met 
       

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 86% of metrics met 
       

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 75% of metrics met
       

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 33% of metrics met 
       

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 94% of metrics met 
       

  • Systems: 94% of metrics met 
     
  • Environment: 76% of metrics met

State Score 2022: 84
State Ranking 2022: 1

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2022 Score

2021 Score

84

79

Massachusetts Highlights

Massachusetts has moved the needle relative to other states include preventing their contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems, allowing them to access critical supports and services, creating systems to address their needs, and promoting safe and inclusive environments by providing protections for LGBTQ youth in key programs.

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Law & Policy

  • The state has RHY statutes similar to the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) that provides funding for emergency services and other supports to prevent and end youth homelessness.

  • State law does not specifically criminalize running away.

  • State law provides youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.

  • The state explicitly allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage (without parental consent).

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Systems

  • There is a state entity (Office of homeless youth services, homeless youth state coordinator, commission on homeless youth, etc.) that focuses solely on youth homelessness.

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness.

    • The state plan has a "youth" and LGBTQ+ component.

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Environment

  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in juvenile justice and child welfare programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • •The state has banned conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. 

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Bay State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy category.

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Law & Policy

  • The state should explicitly allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.
     

  • The state should explicitly allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage without parental consent.

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Systems

  • The state should allow youth to obtain state-issued ID without parental consent.

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Environment

  • The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.

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