Y2Y Network Overview
Y2Y Network supports student-led shelters to interrupt the cycle of homelessness for a generation of young adults. At Y2Y Harvard Square, our pilot site, we employ a youth-to-youth model to provide a safe and affirming environment for young adults ages 18 to 24 experiencing homelessness. Y2Y guests work 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.
Y2Y Harvard Square opened in December 2015 to address a critical community need, the lack of beds for young adults experiencing homelessness. Before Y2Y’s founding, there were only twelve beds in all of Greater Boston specifically for youth. Y2Y catalyzed the Cambridge and Boston community to develop and build an innovative, student-run model that provides very safe and low-cost shelter to young people. Y2Y’s work has been featured in the Boston Globe, National Public Radio, The Huffington Post, and NowThis. It has been selected to join the portfolio or has been incubated by MassChallenge, The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, the Harvard Innovation Lab, TUGG, and the New England Business Association. Y2Y’s co-founders Sam Greenberg and Sarah Rosenkrantz have been recognized as Forbes 30 under 30, and Honorable Mention for the Boston Globe Magazine’s Bostonian of the Year.
Y2Y’s Core Values:
Dignity: Dignity is for everyone. We believe everyone deserves to feel pride and self-worth, and we are committed to ensuring that all people are treated with the utmost respect and kindness.
Safety: Our priority is to maintain an environment where everyone, including all our guests and volunteers, feel completely safe. We continually strive to ensure not only their physical safety, but their emotional safety as well. This is a space of comfort and trust.
Adaptability: We never stop growing and improving. Quantitative and qualitative surveys and assessments allow us to continually update and adapt our programming to ensure that we are providing the absolute best service possible.
Collaboration: Everything we do is a team effort, from day-to-day operations to advocacy and leadership. We thrive on a connected environment, bringing together the unique skills of expert service providers, community members, local institutions, motivated students, and talented young adults experiencing homelessness to achieve meaningful goals and create positive change.
Affirmation: We are open to all lived experiences and strive to create a non-judgmental, open, and affirming space for young people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.