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Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

Lauren Leonardis

Lauren Leonardis
Lauren Leonardis is a 23 year-old advocate, community member, and parent to a two-year old son. She has experienced homelessness as a young adult, traveling, staying in family shelters with her son, and finally obtained permanent housing in December 2015. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance’s (MHSA) Leadership Development program and was part of passing the Unaccompanied and Homeless Youth Bill in the Massachusetts Legislature. She runs a Facebook page to raise awareness about who those experiencing poverty and homelessness really are. You can find the page at: http://www.facebook.com/ProjectFamiliar
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Recent Posts

Stories of Youth Homelessness & Resiliency: Lauren

During the holiday season last year, my son and I were staying in a small church-run shelter. From 8:30 am to 5 pm, I had to leave to sit in an old church basement adjacent to the shelter’s office

It was a big room with some tables and chairs scattered around and a corner with some kids toys and a couch. The room was cold and dusty, and there was mouse poop behind the radiators. It smelled the way you would imagine an old church basement would smell. My son was just learning to walk and would often crawl across the floor, leaving his hands and knees dirty.