BOSTON (CBS) – For more than 50 years, Bridge Over Troubled Waters has been helping homeless teens get off the streets of Boston for a safe and better future.

The coronavirus crisis has added another layer of need for homeless young people. Now they might be fleeing an unsafe home or a dangerous living situation, so the city teamed up with Emerson College to find a solution for keeping the Bridge kids safe and socially distanced.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben spoke to Mayor Marty Walsh and the Bridge director Elisabeth Jackson about why they need help more than ever.

“We have a waitlist of over 300 young people since the virus has hit, all new to Bridge…Young people from the beginning did not have a good safety net, at first they were couch surfing, they were staying with friends, they had a job that they were able to pay and once the virus hit, they do not a job anymore so they can’t pay their friends to stay in that house so they were asked to leave,” said Jackson. “The libraries are closed, the malls are closed, the restaurants are closed so they don’t have anywhere to go to wash their hands or have a safe distance or just be somewhere inside.”

She also hears many heartbreaking stories about young women in abusive relationships who no longer have jobs and are unable to leave.

“At this particular moment in time, Bridge, their work is needed probably as much as any other period in history since they came around,” said Walsh.

Jackson added, “When your home is social distancing and you’re feeling stressed or you’re feeling you want to be out and about, please stay in and please think of the young people.”

For more information or to donate visit: www.bridgeotw.org

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