As an action team of the Nauset Interfaith Association, we seek to support Cape Cod youth who are or are at risk of becoming homeless or who otherwise experience exclusion from the community. Our goal is to help these young people experience safety, respect and dignity and the opportunity to make their own choices as contributing members of the community to which they belong.
We envision a time in which no young person experiences homelessness or rejection and every young person has the freedom and support in which to thrive.
A Very Brief History
Youth Overnights of Hospitality (YOH) was created in 2015 by members of NIA and others who were interested in providing shelter for youth experiencing homelessness, especially youth from the LGBTQ community on the Lower and Outer Cape. When we found that we were unable to provide shelter, we changed the name to Youth Outreach and Hospitality (YOH).
What We Do
Through our counselor, teacher, and nurse contacts from the three Lower Cape High Schools and a Case Manager at Homeless Prevention Council, we make ourselves available to all our regional high school students and other youth and young adults (YYA) on the Lower Cape in urgent need of a safe place to stay the night, funds for rent, car repairs or food.
Each year we have shown a film or brought in a speaker to raise consciousness around the fact that LGBTQ youth and youth of color are disproportionately represented in the homeless population and how this might be addressed and prevented.
A recent report by the Trevor Project found that percent of LGBTQ+ youth have experienced homelessness or housing instability at some point in their lives. The study, titled “Homelessness and Housing Instability Among LGBTQ Youth” found that those who did encounter housing issues had two to four times the adds of reporting depression, anxiety, self-harm, considering suicide complared to those with stable housing. Among the group’s key findings, nealy half (44%) of native/indigenous LGBTQ+ youth eperienced homlessness or housing instability at some point in their life. This is compared to 16% of Asian-American/Pacific islander LGBTQ+ youth, 27% of White LGBTQ+ youth, 27% of Latinx LGBTQ+ youth, 26% of Black/LGBTQ+ youth and 36% of multiracial LGBTQ+ youth.
Sixteen percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported that they had slept away from their parents of guardians because they ran away from home. 55% of them reported running away due to mistreatment or fear of mistreatment because of theri LGBTQ+ identity. Another 14% of LGBTQ+ youth had slept away from parents or guardians because they were kicked out or abandonded, according to the Treveor Project’s report. Forty percent reported being kicked out or abandoned due to their LGBTQ+ identity.
YOH has also created a fund that enables us to award a scholarship to one student graduating from each of the three Lower Cape High Schools. Scholarships are awarded to encourage and support students who have been homeless, at risk, or have overcome significant adversity. Students are nominated on the basis of need and motivation to pursue further education. Our goals are to continue to support these students financially with awards each semester they remain in school for up to four years of their college education or vocational training. In order to deepen our relationship with scholarship students, YOH members keep in touch with them and host suppers at least twice a year.
If you are moved to make a donation to support YOH, please send a check with YOH on the memo line made out to:
Nauset Interfaith Association
c/o Rev. Ken Campbell
PO Box 306
South Orleans, MA 02662
OR you can DONATE ONLINE
Brooke Eaton-Skea, Chair