Visit our Research Matters blog for weekly posts from the homelessness sector here. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness is the largest national research institute devoted to homelessness in Canada. In recent years, there has been extensive research in the area of youth homelessness in Canada and internationally. We have seen a great deal of initiatives towards the movement to end youth homelessness.
Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers
Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers - Center for American Progress
There are approximately 1. These vulnerable gay and transgender youth often run away from home because of family conflict and then face overt discrimination when seeking alternative housing, which is compounded by institutionalized discrimination in federally funded programs. We do not have to accept this reality. The federal government has the power to reduce and eventually eliminate rates of gay and transgender youth homelessness while addressing youth homelessness overall. Congress can and should make a financial commitment to services directed at these young people. They should join with federal agencies and couple it with an expansion of equal rights and protections to all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S)
LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender individuals face a particular set of challenges, both in becoming homeless as well as when they are trying to avoid homelessness. Frequently, homeless LGBT persons have great difficulty finding shelters that accept and respect them. LGBT individuals experiencing homelessness are often at a heightened risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation compared with their heterosexual peers. Transgender people are particularly at physical risk due to a lack of acceptance and are often turned away from shelters; in some cases signs have been posted barring their entrance. The most frequently cited factor contributing to LGBT homelessness was family rejection based on sexual orientation and gender identity, with the second most common reason of being forced out by their parents after coming out, according to the Williams Institute , UCLA School of Law, et al.
Human services professionals should have a clear understanding of the unique needs, risk factors, and challenges facing LGBT homeless youth. Because LGBT youth represent only 7 percent of the total youth population, there is a staggering disproportion of homelessness among these populations. Despite this sobering statistic, there are currently no federal programs specifically designed to meet the needs of gay and transgender homeless youth.