Raising the Roof’s national public education campaign,
Homeless Youth have nothing but Potential, received
international acclaim when Leo Burnett Toronto won a Silver in the Press
competition for its “Chair” print ad at the prestigious 58th
International Festival of Creativity in Cannes in June 2011.
Raising the Roof and pro bono partner Burnett launched the
thought-provoking national campaign on February 21, 2011. It included TV
and radio public spots, ads in newspaper and magazines, transit stations
and shelters, movie theatres, restaurant washrooms, elevators, outdoor
billboards, facebook banner ads and much more. All advertising space was
Being Safe, Being Out: Helping LGBTQ Youth in Crisis - a
brochure from the National Runaway Switchboard for LGBTQ youth, their
friends, and families. Ever wonder whether the National
Runaway Switchboard was a safe place to refer a homeless GLBTQ youth?
Here's a free, downloadable brochure from them with statistics, information and
resources for your clinic or counseling waiting room or the literature rack in
your classroom or library. http://www.1800runaway.org/pub_mat/documents/LGBTQ.pdf
Also from National Runaway Switchboard: Let's Talk
-The Runaway Prevention Curriculum - Module 12 - Sexuality And Sexual
Orientation - this lesson plan is part of National Runaway Switchboard's The 14 Module Let's Talk Curriculum. At the end of
each module are pre- and post-tests for the participants. You may also order a
CD version of the curriculum through their materials order form. If you have any
questions, comments or suggestions or to return pre and post tests please
contact the Prevention Specialist at 773-289-1723 or via email at prevention@1800RUNAWAY.org.
Hidden in Plain
Sight: Homelessness Amongst Lesbian and Gay Youth - W. O’Connor and D. Molloy, 2001. ISBN/ISSN: 0-904607-79-8. A report which looks into
the reasons for homelessness among young lesbians and gay men, and the problems
they face. Researchers spoke to a cross section of lesbians and gay men aged
15-24 from six cities across the UK. The report also looks at service provision
among housing and homelessness agencies, and makes recommendations about how
homeless lesbian and gay youth can be better served. London: National Centre for
Social Research; Phone: 020 7549 8520; Fax: 020 7250 1524; E-mail: email@example.com; Cost: £12.50 plus £2.50 p&p.
The Kids Are Listening
- a nationwide campaign by the American Bar Association Center (ABA) Center
on Children and the Law, created to ensure that the thousands of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) children and teens who
are in foster care receive the legal rights and protection they deserve and
need. As part of this program, the ABA Center on Children and the Law
provides trainings, free resources, works one-on-one with legal and social
services professionals - from judges to children's attorneys and social
services personnel - who are involved in the foster care community to make their community a better and safer place for
LGBTQ foster kids. Watch this moving and motivating video (below) that
demonstrates how everything that we do and say as lawyers, judges and adults
in these children's lives makes a difference. Find out how you, as a
teacher, parent and active member of the community can make a difference in
these kids lives by visiting:
"The Kids are Listening"
campaign is part of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the
Law's Opening Doors Project, which was created in 2005 to increase the legal
community's awareness of LGBTQ youth in foster care and the unique issues
they face and to provide the legal community with advocacy tools to
successfully represent these youth. A growing coalition of support is coming
from major organizations across the nation including the Anti-Defamation
League, Cartoon Network, the Child Welfare League of America, the It Gets
Better Project, the Safe Schools Coalition, Healthy Teens Network, the
National Association of Counsel for Children, the National Association of
Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the American Humane Association, the
National Black Justice Coalition, Stop Bullying Now! (a federal program run
by the Health Resources and Services Administration), and many others.
Contact: Garry I. Bevel, Staff Attorney - ABA Center on
Children and the Law; Opening Doors for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care; Address:
740 15th ST NW. Washington, DC. 20009; Phone: 202-662-1749; fax:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender youth: An epidemic of homelessness - a January 30, 2007 report from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in collaboration with
the National Coalition for the Homeless. Of the estimated 1.6 million homeless
American youth, up to 42 percent identify as lesbian or gay, and a
disproportionate number identify as bisexual or transgender. Why do LGBT youth
become homeless? In one study, 26 percent of gay teens who came out to their
parents/guardians were told they must leave home. LGBT youth also leave home due
to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. LGBT youth report they are threatened,
belittled and abused at shelters by staff as well as other residents.
http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/HomelessYouth.pdf(pdf format -199 pages)
LGBTQ Homeless Youth Fact Sheet - published on the SSC website with permission
from The National
Alliance to End Homelessness, a nonpartisan, mission-driven organization
committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. The
Alliance analyzes policy and develops pragmatic, cost-effective policy
solutions. Working collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit
sectors to build state and local capacity, the Alliance provides data and
research that lead to stronger programs and policies that help communities
achieve their goal of ending homelessness.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Advisory
Council on LGBTQ Homeless Youth - includes national and local nonprofit organizations
dedicated to advocating for increased support for LGBTQ homeless youth.
To further their goal of increasing community awareness, The National Alliance
to End Homelessness and National Youth Advocacy Coalition
have published three new documents in partnership with Lambda Legal, the
National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the National Network for Youth:
Recommended Practices - To Promote the Safety and
Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ)
Youth and Youth at Risk of or Living With HIV in Child Welfare Settings
- from Child Welfare League of America with Lambda Legal, American Bar
Association Center on Children and the Law: Opening Doors for LGBTQ Youth in
Foster Care Project, Family Acceptance Project, Legal Services for Children,
True Colors, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Center for
Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Network
for Youth, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and others. Published on
Surviving on Your Own: Information
for Youth on How Schools Can Help Specifically for homeless youth
and their families, these great posters from The
National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) are in English and Spanish. They let youth and their families
know their rights in the education system: what they are entitled to, by federal
law, in terms of education, regardless of their housing status. Download the pdf
versions and order hard copies (free product limit: 25
per agency per school year) from here:http://www.serve.org/nche/pr/er_poster.php
Transitioning Our Shelters - A GUIDE TO MAKING HOMELESS
SHELTERS SAFE FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE - by Lisa Mottet and John M.
Ohle; 2003; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy
Institute National Coalition. "Because youth are coming out as
transgender or crossdressing at earlier ages, a significant number are being
kicked out of family homes."
We Don't Exactly Get the Welcome
Wagon: The Experiences of Gay and Lesbian Adolescents in Child Welfare Systems
- G.P. Mallon, 1998. ISBN: 0-231-10455-3.
The first comprehensive examination of the experiences of gay and lesbian youths
in the child welfare system,
Welcome Wagon makes solid recommendations to social work practitioners as
well as to policy makers about how they can provide a competent practice for gay
and lesbian adolescents, and offers a methods chapter which will be useful in
classroom instruction. NY: Columbia University Press. @28.00 (pbk).
Youth in the Margins: A Report on
the Unmet Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescents in Foster
Care - Current state foster-care programs
neglect LGBT youth, and in many cases, promote a homophobic atmosphere that
serves to undermine the welfare of LGBT youth. This report from Lambda Legal,
published 10/05/01, examines the foster-care programs
of 14 states; highlighting the shortfalls of each program in addressing LGBT
youth, and in turn providing recommendations so that these problems can be
Lambda Legal's Foster Care Poster (pdf format) includes the hotline
Foster Care Helpline - for young people in foster care who have questions
about LGBT-related discrimination or abuse, a service of Lambda Legal Defense
and Education Fund. The line is staffed (Pacific Standard Time) Monday-Friday,
6:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. [9-5:30, Eastern], but callers may leave messages 24-hours …
Phone: 866-LGBTeen (542-8336). Also contact person: Stefan Johnson
@ phone 213-382-7600.
LGBTQI2-S Homeless Youth,
a page from the Homelessness Resource Center of SAMSHA,
the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the
U.S. Department of Helath and Human Services. Youth who identify as Lesbian,
Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, or Two-Spirited (LGBTQI2-S)
are more likely to experience family conflict, abuse, and mental health problems
than their heterosexual peers. Because of discrimination and stigma, LGBTQI2-S
youth who are homeless are often careful to protect their sexual identities from
service providers. In this feature, you will find information about LGBTQI2-S
youth along with tips for working with them. Research notes are presented about
the important differences among youth who are homeless and identify as
heterosexual, bisexual, and gay and lesbian. Website: http://homeless.samhsa.gov/
Downtowners - a 47 minute documentary film that shares the voices
of young people who are homeless in Olympia Washington, as they explore
issues such as sexual violence, public space, gender roles, street culture,
and community perceptions. These voices inspire a connection and
understanding seldom experienced by those who lack direct experience with
the streets. Often referred to as "at-risk", "marginalized", or
"disadvantaged", these youth and young adults live on the fringes of
society, and their struggles include uncertainty, instability, barriers to
resources and lack of support in creating solutions. In an effort to raise
awareness by deepening the dialogue about issues of youth homelessness and
sexual violence, Downtowners introduces street life from the perspective of
the young people who live it. Watch Downtowners here and online: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4945144061710425107#
and you can order the DVD from
Prevention Education (PiPE) in Olympia, WA here:
the Streets- Twenty LGBTQ youth shared
their stories about living on the streets. Five youth are featured in the
presentation. The other stories appear in a study guide to accompany the exhibit
and are especially designed for high school, church and community discussion
around the challenges and needs of homeless youth - in particular, LGBTQ youth).
It is of an approximately 7 feet by 8 feet display. If you are interested in
having this exhibit at your school, church or place of work please contact Mary
Dispenza, photographer and story research specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org;
We Are ... GBLTQ- a
42 minute DVD
that was produced by
the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Children’s
Administration, the Washington State Department of Information Services, and
director/Project Coordinator, Evonne Hedgepeth, Ph.D.
- Lifespan Education, (Phone / Fax:
email@example.com) who is available to
consult (curricula writing, trainings, program design, etc.) and may be available to
speak with the film at training events and conferences around the country.
This is easily the BEST video about LGBTQ youth in
recent memory. It’s about LGBTQ youth in foster care, featuring the
wonderfully articulate, diverse voices of a dozen or so LGBTQ current and
former foster kids, with guest appearances by some adult experts. It’s an
excellent training tool intended for case workers, foster parents and others
serving out-of-home youth, but absolutely great too for school counselors,
nurses, social workers, teachers, physicians, parents …any adult who cares
about youth…and for any youth in the child welfare system. Order free
copies while they last from Carolyn Jones, Professional Development Unit,
Children's Administration, Department of Social & Health Services, MS 45710,
Olympia, WA 98502; Tel. 360-902-0215; Fax. 360-7588; Email.
ZOCA300@dshs.wa.gov or Marianne K.
firstname.lastname@example.org - 360-902-7928. The
We Are ... GBLTQ
video and an accompanying
discussion guide are both available online at
the Foster Parent Website
They are linked near the bottom in the list on the page. The discussion guide is at:
http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/ca/We Are GLBTQ Discussion and Resource
Guide.pdf (pdf format).
You can watch the 42 minute
film "We Are
... GLBTQ" online athttp://www.dshs.wa.gov/video/ca/New GLBTQ.asx
SHELTERS and SERVICES – UNITED STATES
(alphabetical by state)
AZ: Eon's Homeless Youth Project
- A program in Tucson of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Pima County
Health Department and Wingspan. Website: http://www.eonyouth.org
Part of Eon's larger program, the Homeless Youth
Project offers advocacy, information, and limited services (hotel vouchers, some
emergency food + toiletry supplies, bus tickets, etc.), and then helps people
get into other youth shelters in town. They also have a youth support
group (on Saturdays from 3-4:30 pm) and more.
520-620-6245; Email: email@example.com.
CA: The Ark House - A
15-bed residence for LGBTQQ young adults, stays of 3 to 6 months.
and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services)
Youth & Family Services, Inc. 1033 N. Hollywood
Way - Unit F; Burbank CA 91505; Phone: (818) 239-0112; Fax: (818) 239-0244;
Hours of Operations:
Mondays thru Fridays - 8:30 AM — 5:00 PM;
Contact form: http://glassla.org/wp/?page_id=42; Website: http://glassla.org/
GLASS is a social service agency
providing a wide range of social and health care services to self-identified
gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-gender, questioning (LGBTQ) and HIV/AIDS-impacted
children and youth who are in foster care, on probation, or who are homeless.
CA:L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Transitional
Living Program - A 24-bed
residence, located at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center where youth ages 18-23 can
stay for up to 18 months.
LA Gay & Lesbian Center, Jeff Griffith Youth Center
- Services to youth under 24 years of age who are
homeless or transitioning on a drop in basis: All services are FREE and only
require the youth to register with the front desk. Open 8:00am to 4:30pm.
7051 Santa Monica Blvd.; Los
Angeles, Ca 90038 Phone: 323-993-7501
Case Management services, GED
assistance, and more - a safe space to rest and feel welcomed.
CA: Larkin Street Youth Services provides homeless, runaway
and at-risk kids between the ages of 12 and 24 with the help they need to
rebuild their lives. With 25 comprehensive youth service programs located
throughout San Francisco in over 13 sites, Larkin Street Youth
Services is now an internationally recognized model successfully integrating
street outreach and emergency shelter, primary medical care, transitional
housing, and job training and scholarship assistance to get homeless and at risk
kids off the streets. Website:
For youth program sites, please visit
Easy Access to Services. If you are a youth in need of
services, please call (800) 669.6196
Larkin Street Youth ServicesAdministrative Offices – main mailing address 701 Sutter
Street, Suite 2 San Francisco, CA 94109 Phone: 415.673.0911 Fax:
415.749.3838 Our main address includes the Executive
Director, Finance, Human Resources, Development, and Research & Evaluation
departments. For further information and inquiries, please fill
out the form
Larkin Street Stories: The Homeless LGBT Experience
Larkin Street Stories: Confronting Hate Speech and Homophobia
Larkin Street Stories: Neither/Nor: Working with Transgender Youth
- A supervised program in which 17-18 year old gay
and lesbian youth live in shared apartments.
CA: StandUp For Kids Oceanside - This drop in
center for all homeless and at risk youth 21 years of age and younger welcomes
anyone regardless of sexual orientation. They provide a safe and protective
environment for homeless and at-risk youth, thereby fostering the needed support
network of basic human needs and development through educational programs,
one-on-one counseling, and an ongoing atmosphere of hope and concern.
FL: SunServe -
Central facility is located on the campus of the Sunshine
Cathedral, 1480 SW Ninth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315-1275;
Phone: 954-764-5055; Email: Info@SunServe.org
SunServe has a program for family and youth
especially targeting the need of homeless and “at risk” gay, lesbian, and
questioning youth. Guided by various ongoing community advisory groups, SunServe
develops specific services to reach out to LGBT youth where they are, provide
acceptance, understanding, mentoring and counseling to assist young people in
realizing their full potential. That includes educating families toward
acceptance of as well as intervening to reduce the harmful effects
of family rejection on LGBT and questioning youth by providing a safe place for
young persons to develop self acceptance and build life affirming skills.
Ellis Center ~ Ruth's House - Provides short-term and long-term residential
safe space and support services for runaway, homeless and at-risk gay, lesbian,
bi-attractional, transgender and questioning youth ages 16-21 in Detroit and
GLBT Host Home Program -
created in 1998 out of a grassroots effort to address
GLBTQ youth homelessness, this was originally hosted at YouthLink, it moved to
Avenues for Homeless Youth in January 2007.
GLBT Host Home Program Avenues for Homeless Youth 1708
Oak Park Avenue N. Minneapolis, MN 55411
NY:The Ali Forney Center (AFC)
- Emergency shelter, HIV prevention and life skills training for LGBT youth ages
16-24. AFC does not accept walk-ins for
the shelter - anyone interested in the waiting list should call
917-334-7032. For other contact, the information below is for the AFC
The Ali Forney Center 3151 Broadway, Suite
2C New York,
Ali Forney Day Center: in the Chelsea section of
Manhattan is the entry point to our programs for homeless youths. There we offer
street outreach, referral to our housing programs, case management, primary
medical care, HIV testing, mental health assessment and treatment, food and
showers, and an employment assistance program.
AFC Emergency Housing Program:
scattered-site emergency housing program with sites in Manhattan and
Brooklyn. We offer temporary housing in safe, staff-supervised homelike
apartments. LGBT youths are able to reside in our emergency housing program for
up to six months while we assist them in moving on to more permanent housing.
Currently AFC has 3 emergency housing apartments and a total of 18 beds.
AFC Transitional Housing: Tcurrently offers housing to
14 youths in 3 scattered sites in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The residents are able
to live in our transitional housing program for up to two years, while we assist
them in maintaining employment and in continuing their education. We place a
great deal of emphasis in helping our residents become prepared to live
independently, and our goal is that our residents, upon graduation from this
program, will move on to their own apartments.
The Family Outreach Program: strives to assist
families struggling with their LGBT youth in an effort to prevent young people
from becoming homeless. The project aims to support and strengthen families by
offering counseling, education and outreach services.
NY: Green Chimneys Children's Services, Inc.
New York City Programs for LGBTQ Children, Youth and Families - Residential,
social service and educational programs that specifically focus on responding to
the unique needs of GLBTQ youth and their families. Programs include The Agency Operated Boarding Home AOBH - designed as a small,
home-like, structured program for gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning
males, 12-16 years old. The Gramercy Residence at Ungar House is a group residential
program for gay, bisexual, transgender & questioning youth 16-20 years old. The Triangle Tribe Apartment Program consists of two elements
for LGBTQ youth: a Transitional Living Program (TLP) and a Transitional
Independent Living (TIL) program.
NY: MCCNY Homeless Youth Services:
Sylvia's Place: 446 West 36th Street (between Dyer & 10th Avenue),
New York, NY 10018; Contact: Lucky Michaels, MCCNY Homeless Youth
Services Director; Email:
Lucky@mccny.org; Phone: (212) 629-7440 x 226; or Sarah Wilson, MCCNY
Homeless Youth Services Social Worker; E-mail:
Sarah@mccny.org; Phone (212) 629-7440 x 226; Website:
Youth Services: Sylvia's Place Since 2002, MCCNY Homeless Youth
Services: Sylvia's Place has empowered thousands of LGBTQ runaway and homeless
youth aged 16-24 to continue their work towards self-sufficiency by providing
comprehensive overnight, drop-in, crisis intervention, case management, mental
health, healthcare, HIV testing and job training services in midtown Manhattan.
A project of the Metropolitan Community Church of New York and MCCNY Charities,
MCCNY Homeless Youth Services: Sylvia's Place is dedicated to building a sense
of community in order to bring the world to right and just relationship. For
more information, visit
Cicchino Youth Project - Of the estimated 20,000 teenagers living on
the streets of New York City, almost half self-identify as lesbian, gay,
bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). These teens have been thrown out of their homes
or have run away from foster care because of homophobia, harassment, and
physical abuse. Once on the streets, the majority of them turn to prostitution
and drug use.
Urban Justice created
Youth Project to reach out to these young people and help them stabilize their
lives. Through this project, they have assisted thousands of teens to navigate
the complicated channels of government benefits, access permanent housing, and
continue their education. Every week, they conduct legal clinics at drop-in
centers for runaways and LGBT youth, where we counsel clients one-on-one. They
also engage in systemic advocacy and impact litigation around issues such as the
mistreatment of LGBT youth in New York City's foster care and juvenile detention
systems. They work with LGBT young adults who are "aging" out of foster care, to
ensure that they receive legally required discharge planning, and to give them
the skills they need to successfully transition into independent, adult lives.
The project's litigation and advocacy efforts have led to many positive reforms,
including the establishment of foster care housing specifically for LGBT foster
youth and increased training on LGBT issues for foster care workers.
All services are offered free of charge
If you live in New York City, are an LGBT young person and
you need legal assistance, you can make an appointment with PCYP by calling
646-602-5633, 646-602-5636 or our toll-free number, 1-877-LGBT-LAW.
Must be a client or member of the site to be admitted to
Ali Forney Center
- Wednesday, 12:00 - 2:00pm 527 West 22nd Street, 1st floor Take the E train to
West 23rd Street. You must be a member of the Ali Forney Center to attend.
Please call 212.206.0574 to join.
Streetwork Project -
Thursday, 3:00 - 5:00 PM 165 West 131st street, 3rd floor New
York, New York 10027 Take the 2, 3 trains to 135th Street. You must be a member
of Streetwork to attend. Please call 212.695.2220 to join.
Hetrick Martin Institute
- Tuesday, 4:00 - 5:00 PM 2 Astor Place Take R or W to 8th Street or 6 to Astor
Place. You must be a member of Hetrick Martin Institute to attend. Please call
212.674.2400 to join.
NY: Trinity Place Shelter for LGBTQ Youth - a
10-bed transitional shelter that provides LGBTQ youth between the ages of 18-24
with a safe place to sleep, eat, store belongings, and have access to
transportation Through strong local community partnerships they are able to
provide access to comprehensive medical services, case management, education,
career counseling, art classes and mental health services. Their goal is to help
LGBTQ youth safely transition out of the shelter system and grow into
independent, positive, and productive adults. Youth can stay as long as they are
making progress toward their goals.
Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan which has long sought to be a
community of welcome and full inclusion for all people regardless of race,
ethnicity, gender, class, age, immigration status or sexual orientation.
Address: 164 West 100th Street, New York, New York 10025 Phone: 212-222-7045
firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.trinityplaceshelter.org/
WA: Eastside Outreach Drop-In Center:
Catering to homeless youth on the Eastside.
A program of
Friends of Youth Friends of Youth Family Resource Center Campus 16225
NE 87th Street, Suite B-12 Redmond, WA 98052 Phone:
(425) 869-6490 x 342 Website:
WA:Isis House - Transitional living for homeless youth,
emphasizing service to LGBTQ young adults ages 18-21 with case management on
site, up to 18-month stays.
WA:La-Ba-Te-Yah Youth Home Community - Independent living program for homeless youth ages
14-21, for urban Native American and youth of color; case management on site;
Two-Spirits program and a good number of Two-Spirit staff; up to 18-month stays.
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation in Seattle.
referral with interview process. Phone: 206-781-8303.
WA:The Shelter - Emergency shelter for 12-17 year olds; has
been good about working with Trans youth around the separation of gender
required by state licensing; up to 30 day stays - may extend.
How many LGBTQ youth are homeless and what are some resources out
there to find out more? We're often asked to give specific numbers about the
latest known statistics on homeless/runaway LGBTQ youth on a national basis. A
few caveats need to be made before offering any statistics:
Many of these statistics were based specifically
on surveys of homeless/runaway youth in large metropolitan cities (among others,
New York, Seattle and Los Angeles), and sometimes this has been broadened to say
they represent a national statistic, although obviously using very city-specific
results can at best only represent statistics within that city.
Many of these surveys were from
articles, reports and surveys done quite a number of years ago (going as far
back as the mid-1980s)
That said, although we don't have any current, national statistics
on the number of LGBTQ youth among the homeless/runaway youth population, the
numbers most often bandied around range from 25% to 40% for urban areas,
depending on whom you rely on:
26% of gay adolescent males were forced to leave
home as a result of their sexual identity (Paul Gibson, "Gay Male and Lesbian
Youth Suicide", Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide, 1989)
Agencies serving street youth in Los Angeles
estimate that 25-35% of homeless youth are lesbian and gay, and in Seattle, 40%
of homeless youth are estimated to be lesbian or gay. (Caitlin Ryan and Donna
Futterman, Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling, 1998)
The National Network
of Runaway and Youth Services has estimated that 20-40% of youths who become
homeless each year are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (Lambda Legal Defense and
Education Fund, Youth in the Margins, 2001)
unfortunately, it's difficult to give exact figures and data on it. However, I
think it's safe to say that a least a proportionate number of LGBTQ-identified
youth are among the homeless/street population, if not much higher (sadly).
In 1989 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found
that LGBT youth constituted 25% of all youth living on the street.
In 1998 Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman wrote a book titled
“Lesbian and Gay Youth”, that was published by the Columbia University Press.
The authors analyzed studies on homeless and runaway youth conducted in Seattle
and Los Angeles and found that in these city-funded studies that gay and lesbian
youth accounted for 20 to 40% of all homeless youth.
On March 12, 1999 UPN broadcasted a section of “The Teen Files”
called “The Truth About Hate” that was produced by Arnold Shapiro who is best
known for his series called “Scared Straight”. During the research for
this program his staff found that 42% of all homeless youth identify as gay,
lesbian or bisexual.
David Allen, a lawyer in Portland, Oregon, analyzed data
collected in 1993 by Outside In, a medical and counseling agency serving
homeless youth. According to the agency’s findings, about 20% of Outside
In’s clients classified themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. During
the following year, that number increased to 30%.
According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,
“Anti-Gay/Lesbian Victimization” (1984) and The Journal of Pediatrics, “Male
Homosexuality: The Adolescent’s Perspective,” 26% of gay and lesbian youth are
forced to leave home because of conflict with family members about their sexual
According to the Seattle Commission on Children and Youth (1986),
“Survey of Street Youth”, approximately 40% of homeless youth are identified as
gay, lesbian or bisexual.
According to The National Network of Runaway and Youth Services,
“To Whom Do They Belong?: Runaway, Homeless and Other Youth in High-Risk
Situations in the 1990’s a 1991 report said that service providers estimate that
gay, lesbian and bisexual youth make up 20-40% of homeless youth in urban areas.
According to GLAD, a gay and lesbian youth group in Decatur,
Illinois, they found that 42% of homeless youth in Decatur identify as gay,
lesbian or bisexual.
In an article written by Matt Lum of The Triangle, the
Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, in a report titled “Discrimination
Toward Lesbian Women and Gay men” it was reported that 26% of adolescent males
have had to leave home due to their sexual orientation and 42% of homeless youth
self-identify as gay or lesbian.
According to a 1992 Advocate article titled “Throwaway Kids, The
National Network of Runaway and Youth Services has estimated that ‘20% - 40% of
the 1.3 million kids who become homeless each year’ are ‘gay, lesbian and
Gabe Kruks from the Journal of Adolescent Health in a report
titled, “Gay and Lesbian Homeless/Street Youth: Special Issues and Concerns
reports on an estimate of “25-35%” of homeless youth for Los Angeles are GLB.
“A 1986 survey of street youth conducted by the Orion Center in
Seattle”, estimated that 40% of their street youth were GLB.
According to Paul Gibson of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, 26% of lesbian and gay youth are forced to leave home because of
their sexual orientation. Out of that 26% Gibson found that 25% of
youth living on the streets are lesbian and gay. If rejected by
their families and unable to access support services, many GLBT young people
become homeless, increasing their likelihood of engaging in prostitution and
heightening risk for alcohol and drug abuse, violence, suicide, and HIV and
In 1998 Pohan and Bailey did research for the FBI and found that
“ 26% of (GLBT youth) who ‘come out’ to their families are thrown out of their
homes because of conflicts with moral and religious values. They continued
, saying it is estimated that 30% - 40% of homeless youth in large cities are
Rob MacDonald, project coordinator for the Host Homes Program in
Ottawa Canada says that, while working with street kids, he found 30% of cases
had GLBT issues.
According to the PTS &
Ottawa-Carleton GLBT Health Task Group’s research for: “A Proposal for a GLBT
Health/Wellness Needs Assessment and Community Resource Mapping Project”, they
found that 25 – 40% of homeless youth are GLBT.