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 donated.
Being Safe, Being Out: Helping LGBTQ Youth in Crisis
- a brochure from the
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org;
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 (pdf format
- a January 30, 2007 report
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.
LGBTQ Homeless Youth Fact Sheet
(pdf format) -
published on the SSC website with permission from
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.
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
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).
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). Contact person:
Stefan Johnson - phone 213-382-7600.
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.
Doors Project,from American Bar Association, aims to increase
the legal community’s awareness of LGBTQ youth in foster care and the unique
issues they face, and provide the legal community with advocacy tools to
successfully represent these youth.
The Opening Doors Project staff will provide substantive
training based on the resource manual for lawyers, judges, advocates and
other child welfare professionals.
During this three year project, staff of the ABA Center on
Children and the Law will research and develop a resource manual and provide
training and technical assistance on issues related to LGBTQ youth in foster
Opening Doors for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care: A Guide for
Lawyers and Judges - by Mimi Laver and Andrea Khoury. This guide aims to
increase the legal community’s awareness of LGBTQ youth in foster care and
the issues they face. It provides tools for lawyers and judges to aid their
advocacy and decision making on behalf of LGBTQ youth. Available for sale as
a paperback, and some chapters are online for free in PDF format.
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
on the Streets(pdf format)-
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 email@example.com.
SHELTERS and SERVICES –
UNITED STATES (alphabetical
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. Phone:
520-620-6245; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ark House
15-bed residence for LGBTQQ young adults, stays of 3 to 6 months.
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
A supervised program in which 17-18 year old gay and lesbian youth live in
Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services
North Robertson Blvd, Suite A
Hollywood, CA 90069
Central facility is located on the campus of the Sunshine
Cathedral, 1480 SW Ninth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL
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.
- Group home for serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) youth
ages 14 to 18 years old.
Home for Little Wanderers
Ruth Ellis Center ~
- 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 Southeastern Michigan.
Ali Forney Center (AFC)
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 headquarters:
Ali Forney Center
3151 Broadway, Suite 2C
York, NY 10027
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
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
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.
456 West 145th Street, Suite 1 New York, New York 10031
212 491-5911- phone
212 368-8975 – fax
MCCNY Homeless Youth Services
Three emergency shelters (listed below) run by Metropolitan
Community Church of New York providing emergency shelter to homeless LGBTQ
youth in New York City for self identified gay, lesbian,
bi-sexual, transgendered, transsexual and questioning youth
under 24 years of age.
Metropolitan Community Church of New York:
36 Street, New
York, NY 10018
Contact: Kate Barnhart, Shelter Director; Email:
Phone at 718-300-0133
or Lucky Michaels, Shelter Administrator; Email:
- an emergency overnight shelter for LGBTQ youth (under 24) open
365 days/year from 8pm-8am. They provide hot meals (dinner and
breakfast); clothing; showers; case management; physical and
mental health medical services; court advocacy; and host a
number of groups during the week.
Sylvia's Place is located
at 446 W.36th Street and accepts clients on a walk-in basis
after 8pm daily as long as we have room. It is a good idea to
call before coming to make sure there is space available:
(718) 300-0133. No paperwork is necessary.
Sylvia's East -
an intermediate shelter for LGBTQ youth (under 21) located in
the East Village. Residents at Sylvia's East
are expected to be engaged in school, work, or other
constructive activities. To be eligible for Sylvia's
East, a young person must first have completed a
Sylvia's East does
not accept direct referrals.
Sylvia's Sugar Hill -
a 6-bed shelter at the Church of the Intercession on 155th
Street designed to meet the needs of “chronically homeless”
youth, who have been homeless for a year or more. These veterans
of the shelter system are more stable than newly homeless youth,
and need a more independent setting to prepare for transitioning
to life on their own. Sylvia's Sugar Hill
operates using a “youth-driven” model, meaning that residents
provide a input into program design and operations based on
extensive experience in the shelter system.
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
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.
by YouthCare in Seattle.
agency referral: 206-694-4507
can call: 800-495-7802 (24 Hour Help & Referral Line)
WA:La-Ba-Te-Yah Youth Home Community - Independent living program for homeless youth ages 14-21,
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.
by United Indians of All Tribes Foundation in Seattle.
referral with interview process. Phone: 206-781-8303.
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.
by YouthCare in Seattle
referral with screening. Phone: 206-694-4506.
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:
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.
of these surveys were from articles, reports and surveys done quite a
number of years ago (going as far back as the mid-1980s)
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:
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,
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)
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)
So, 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).
1989 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that LGBT
youth constituted 25% of all youth living on the street.
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
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.
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%.
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 orientation.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
1986 survey of street youth conducted by the Orion Center in Seattle”,
estimated that 40% of their street youth were GLB.
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
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 other STD’s
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 gay/lesbian youth.”
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
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