Massachusetts HIV Youth Center Recovers After Nearly Being Shut Down

A health center for homeless youth in Cambridge, Massachusetts is continuing on after nearly having to shut its doors a year ago.

Youth on Fire, which provides services for those who are 14-24, has operated since the spring of 2000, according to PinkNews. They were nearly forced to close down last June due to a lack of funding.

“There was a funding crisis, and fortunately the community and folks who recognise the good work that is being done here got together and advocated for Youth on Fire,” said case manager for Youth on Fire Bobby Pappas.

The center offers basic health services, along with HIV, STI and hepatitis screening. They also have laundry services and can assist with help in getting employment and documentation.

“We just had a training last month on working with LGBTQI+ youth and LGBTQI+ youth of colour, and we have a youth advisory board where we talk to them about what’s going on in the space and how we can be better,” Pappas said. “We want to treat folks the way they want to be treated.”

Youth on Fire, as part of the Massachusetts AIDS Action Committee, has helped over 200 teens per year with their services, according to PinkNews. This amounts to over 3,000 teens since they first started.

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