Youth Homelessness

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) individuals face a particular set of challenges, both in becoming homeless as well as when they are trying to avoid homelessness. LGBTQ individuals face social stigma, discrimination, and often rejection by their families, which adds to the physical and mental strains/challenges that all homelessness persons must struggle with.

Frequently, the queer homeless population is faced with great difficulty finding shelters that accept and respect them. LGBTQ 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.

  • According to the Williams Institute, 40% of the homeless youth served by agencies identify as LGBT
  • 43% of clients served by drop-in centers identified as LGBT
  • 30% of street outreach clients identified as LGBT
  • 30% of clients utilizing housing programs identified as LGBT
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