Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.


Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.


The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Legal Aid Among Services to Take On Youth Homelessness in MT


Monday, February 28, 2022   

A federal grant is helping Montana tackle homelessness among the state's young people.

The Treasure State was chosen as a rural recipient of a $3.4 million grant from the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project, created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Nichole Heyer is navigator of the project for Montana Legal Services Association. She said it's unique for a legal organization to be associated with the project - and important because legal services can be barriers to getting housed.

Heyer said working with a landlord, for instance, can be tough for young people.

"The power dynamics within the relationship of a landlord and a tenant are pretty skewed," said Heyer, "just given that this person decides whether you get to remain in their rental or not."

Heyer said young people don't always understand their legal rights or responsibilities when they enter a contract with a landlord.

The lack of responsiveness from landlords to habitability issues - such as water not working properly or leaks - is common, she said. Emancipation for people under the age of 18 so they can seek mental-health care is another common issue.

The effort also is getting input from young people with lived experiences. Brandon Anderson is part of the Youth Action Board and said it would have been nice to know resources existed for him and others on the board.

"We all struggled with homelessness when we were younger," said Anderson. "And none of us knew about any of the services that we could really find, because it just felt like we were forgotten. So we're just trying to make sure that we can help other people that are caught in a similar situation and make it a little bit easier."

Dani Mayeaux also is on the board. She said treating people who are struggling with homelessness with kindness is key.

"The most important thing is just realizing that they're still people," said Mayeaux. "They're not just homeless. They could be an artist, they could be a musician, they could be a chemist for all we know, and it's just when life gets tough we just have to be empathetic and supportive of people."

Heyer said housing advocates in the program provide a range of services to young adults as part of the program, including case management and work readiness.

"When you've got a team of people working from different angles to address these barriers," said Heyer, "that's when things really get done and we can get kids housed and keep them safe."

According to project data, a quarter of participants have exited to permanent housing.

Disclosure: Montana Legal Services Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Poverty Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The VOTES Act also ensures the Commonwealth joins the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a multi-state consortium which aims to keep voter registration rolls up to date, encourage voter registration and prevent voter fraud. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting rights advocates in Massachusetts are applauding Governor Maura Healey's budgetary backing of new policies stemming from last year's passage of…


Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a …

Social Issues

Many Nebraskans know how crucial a family caregiver is to one of their family members. Now AARP research has put a dollar value on that unpaid care - …

Going back generations, many Indigenous cultures developed strong ties with bison and relied upon them for sustenance, shelter, and cultural and religious practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

South Dakota is home to one of the nation's largest American Indian reservations, and the area is part of a movement among tribal nations to take …

Health and Wellness

As the cost of food, medicine and rent continues to climb, new data shows the benefits miners receive are now 40% less than what they received in 1969…

Stedman farmer Demi Tucker has been growing mushrooms on her family's land for the past few years. (Demi Tucker)


With the cost of farmland up by more than 8% percent in North Carolina, the state's Black farmers are struggling to purchase additional acreage or …


By Zachary Shepherd and Kelsey Paulus for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Co…

Social Issues

Republican-sponsored bills and amendments in the Legislature would eliminate the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. More than 1.5-million …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021