Legal Aid kicks off homeless youth forums

Southern Maryland office (Hughesville) chief attorney Seri Wilpone and Assistant Director of Advocacy Jessica Rae led the first of three forums they are presenting in Baltimore titled “Homeless Youth and Young Adults in Baltimore: An Overview of the Law.” The presentations stem from a report the lawyers wrote after researching the laws that impact homeless youth (the report was commissioned by the Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth and Family Services (MANY)).

The first forum on July 15, attended by about 60 policymakers, government staff, educators, child welfare advocates, community members and homeless young people, gave a general overview of the rights youth currently have.

“People were very excited to learn about the reality for homeless youth,” Wilpone said. “MANY intends to use the forums to identify gaps in the law and unmet needs and to develop a plan to fill the gaps and meet the needs. Over 120 people have signed up for the next forum on July 29.”

“The audience asked incredibly detailed and powerful questions–many without easy answers,” Rae added. “What’s really important is engaging young people in the process. They are the key players.”

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