TODAY: MBTA, MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth collaborating on focus group at Bridge

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MEDIA ALERT: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth, and Bridge Over Troubled Waters collaborating on focus group for youth experiencing homelessness

Youth experiencing homelessness more likely to be affected by changes in public transportation fares

 BOSTON – November 14, 2018 –Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Bridge) is collaborating with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth on a focus group tomorrow with youth experiencing homelessness.

Hosted at Bridge, Boston’s foremost nonprofit human services provider serving homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth, the event will be an opportunity for youth to the MBTA to explain plans for their new system, providing an open and collaborative space between youth and the MBTA.

“It is overwhelming to be experiencing homelessness or poverty, struggling to accomplish daily goals with limited resources,” noted Elisabeth Jackson, Executive Director of Bridge Over Troubled Waters. “By hosting this event we are helping connect and empower youth as key stakeholders who better inform us on the tools and resources they need to overcome homelessness and achieve economic stability.”

The MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth understands that LGBTQ youth who are experiencing homelessness are more likely to be affected by changes in public transportation, including the elimination of cash payments onboard buses and trolleys.

“We know that LGBTQ youth in the Boston area are more likely than others to lack resources, be estranged from their families, experience homelessness, and face other risk factors that can prevent them from accessing transportation. And we also know that LGBTQ youth are reliant on public transit to seek out support and services –like LGBTQ-focused drop-in programs, health clinics, and community organizations,” commented Corey Prachniak-Rincon, Commission Director. “So, we are thrilled to partner with Bridge and the MBTA to make sure their voices are heard.”

WHEN: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

WHERE: Bridge Over Troubled Waters, 47 West Street

“The MBTA is excited to be engaging youth in this conversation about our upcoming new fare collection system. We are focused on developing a system that makes the MBTA more accessible and more efficient for all of our riders. A vital part of the success of this system will be reaching the communities that depend most on public transit, and we’re happy to be partnering with the MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth and Bridge over Trouble Waters to do that,” Laurel Paget-Seekins, Director of Fare Policy and Analytics.

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About Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Bridge Over Troubled Waters is the only agency in the Greater Boston area to provide a full continuum of age-appropriate services to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth, ages 14-24.  Providing programs and services to over 2,000 youth each year, the organization offers a comprehensive range of survival, health, educational, career, and housing services in order to encourage the formation of a healthy and productive adulthood.  For more information, visit www.BridgeOTW.org

About MA Commission for LGBTQ Youth

The Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth is established by law as an independent agency of the Commonwealth to recommend to all branches of state government effective policies, programs, and resources for LGBTQ youth to thrive. It was originally founded as the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth was in 1992 in response to high suicide rates among gay and lesbian young people, and was reestablished by the legislature as an independent commission in 2006. Twenty-six years after the creation of the original Governor’s Commission, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth remains the first and only such statewide commission in the country.

About Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, more commonly known as the T, is one of the oldest public transit systems in the United States. It's also the largest transit system in Massachusetts.

As a division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the MBTA provides subway, bus, Commuter Rail, ferry, and paratransit service to eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.