In the US, a new homeless shelter has been opened by two Harvard alumni. It is hard to be homeless at any age, but especially after age 18. At that age, homeless youth become too old to be in the foster system, but are often too young to feel safe in an adult shelter.
In December, Harvard alumni Sarah Rosenkrantz and Sam Greenberg opened Y2Y, which is a homeless shelter in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, that exclusively serves youth aged 18 to 24, and is entirely run by students.
“Young people don’t feel safe, and often aren’t, in adult shelters,” according to Rosenkrantz. She added that they felt it would be wrong not to open up a space for their peers.
Y2Y follows in the footsteps of Harvard Square Homeless Shelter (HSHS), which was the nation’s first student-run homeless shelter that opened in 1983. The Y2Y founders came up with the idea for a youth shelter following involvement at HSHS.
A 30-person student team runs the shelter on a day-to-day basis, including directing 200 volunteers who make dinner each night. The team brings in service providers, like legal aid, fitness trainers and case workers.