Sunday, December 4, 2022


Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.


The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

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
According to the Brennan Center, at least one bill with a provision restricting access to voting was introduced in the legislature of every state except Vermont in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…


Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…

Social Issues

Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …

Almost 60% of Black students and 50% of Latino students experience food insecurity, compared with 30% of their non-Hispanic white peers, according to a study by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…


The Biden administration has proposed a rule to limit methane flaring from oil and gas development on public lands. The rule would impose royalty …

Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized due to RSV infection, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …


As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …


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