When I read that we had been allotted $2 million [in the state budget, for housing and services for unaccompanied youth], I cried.
We have worked so long, with so many sleepless nights and tear-filled days, to get people to do something to support us. We have prepared speeches and wondered about all of the possible effects of our outreach, education, seminars, and presentations on both the presenters and audience. To be honest, in all of my travels, hitch hiking, and sleeping outside (I hate the word “homeless”), I have never felt more full of terror, wonder, anxiety and naked-full-frontal-in-your-face realness as when the thought "this might all be in vain” crossed my mind. “Things may never change and I have exposed myself to all these people" -- sometimes several hundred people – sometimes I didn’t think it was worth it.
I cried when I heard the news because I can only imagine what this will mean to the teens and young adults who are at risk – who will now be able to see a significant change in services available to them.
This is one victory but it is not the end. We have much work to do with haste, diligence, and understanding.
I challenge you, the reader, to be bold, to make new friends, to try something new. I challenge you to be open, be fearless, and love like every person that walks into your life is a treasure -- unique and beautiful just like you.
We are not an enemy.
We are houseless not homeless.
Together, we can keep this going.
This post was written by Synthia Kennedy, a 23-year old activist, advocate, traveler, adult entertainer, and dreamer. She first stayed on the streets when she was 13, and has since been to the entire continental US with plans of crossing even more borders. She calls everywhere she goes "home". She is a Youth Advisory Council Member for the Y2Y Shelter Initiative to open a new overnight shelter for young adults ages 18-24 in Cambridge, MA and has spent most of the last 12 years advocating for expanded rights, services, and support for youth experiencing homelessness as well as the LGBTQ community. Her motto is, "If I have felt scared and alone and in need of family and people to trust without fear of judgment -- then others have too." Her goal is to shed light in the dark places and to ensure anyone seeking safety and shelter has a place to do it. She believes although no one chose to be on this planet -or maybe you did- its our responsibility to care for the life on this planet. "You don't judge a flower for where or how it grows so why judge one that has two legs!" This post includes reflections on the release of the fiscal year 2016 budget by the Legislature. Click here for more details on the budget.
To learn more about Synthia, follow her on Instagram @Ladyswithpipes and Twitter @AmazonTG.
News and Blog Posts from the Coalition
Thank you for reading!