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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 16X: Contracts to provide housing and support services for unaccompanied homeless youths

Section 16X. (a) Subject to appropriation or third party reimbursement, the executive office of health and human services shall enter into performance-based contracts with organizations and agencies to provide housing and support services to address the needs of unaccompanied homeless youths in urban, suburban and rural areas. In entering into such contracts, the executive office of health and human services shall take into consideration the recommendations of the commission on unaccompanied homeless youth established in section 16W on identifying, connecting and serving unaccompanied homeless youth, in general, and unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18 and youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, in particular. Contracts authorized in this section shall include housing services for unaccompanied homeless youth which may include, but shall not be limited to: emergency shelter; kinship home placements; short-term housing; and transition to independent living programs. Programs shall provide any such unaccompanied homeless youth with stable out-of-home placement, help to reunite any such youth with the youth's parent or legal guardian if family reunification is in the youth's best interest and help to create educational and residential stability. Additional support services may include, but shall not be limited to: individual, family and group counseling; access to medical, dental and mental health care; education and employment services; case management, advocacy and referral services; independent living skills training; and provision of basic needs.

(b) The executive office of health and human services shall monitor organizations awarded contracts under this section to ensure that appropriate and high-quality services are being delivered to unaccompanied homeless youth and shall collect common data and outcome measures from these organizations and agencies. Data collected from the organizations and agencies, the incidence of unaccompanied youth homelessness in the commonwealth and the status of and any change in housing, residential stability, educational stability and outcomes and well-being of unaccompanied homeless youth shall be included in the annual report of the special commission on unaccompanied homeless youth pursuant to section 16W.