May 8, 2017
ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Jaileen Malave, front, James E. Austin, left, Sokhan Prak, and Esther Summersett enjoy the open mic event.
By DAVID WILSON
LYNN — It’s only about 10 minutes into the Finals Week Breather + Open Mic at Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Company, and Emily Urbina is hopeful for a good crowd.
The event, hosted by the The Haven Project, was open from 5:30-8 p.m. Monday for students and young adults. “Take a break; vibe out with us; enjoy great talent,” said a small flyer for the event.
Urbina, program director for The Haven Project, said the talent could include poetry, hip-hop performances, and more. Her hope for the event was that it engages the community in a greater way, she said.
Inside the coffee shop is a mural, titled “Our story.” It says, “In 2012, The Haven Project opened a center for high-risk young adults without a safe, stable place to live.
“By purchasing coffee and food at this social enterprise, Land of a Thousand Hills, you are supporting our program which offers vital services such as access to education and job training.
“Most importantly, you are building a path to success for a vulnerable population in our community.”
Inside the shop, on a counter, was a two-sheet, double-sided survey: The 2017 Youth Count Housing and Homelessness Survey.
Over the past two years, the results of similar surveys have helped the state legislature to invest $3 million in housing and services for young people who have experienced housing instability, it said.
The survey asked questions such as, “Where did you sleep last night?” and “Do you have a safe place where you can stay on a regular basis for at least the next 14 days?”
The answers to the survey remain confidential, it said, and are “a key contribution in helping Massachusetts better understand housing instability among youth and young adults.”
In addition, respondents to the survey were handed a ticket for a complimentary drink: A cold brew iced coffee, a peach Italian soda, or an iced green tea lemonade.
Visit https://www.mahomeless.org/images/Youth_Count_2017_Survey_4-6-17.pdf to find a copy of the survey.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the work to expand housing and resources for youth and young adults experiencing housing instability.
David Wilson can be reached at email@example.com.