LGBT Teens | High Risk for Becoming Homeless
LGBT youth are at high risk for becoming homeless. Due to family and social rejection, abuse and/or conflict, many youth have no choice but to live on the streets, in transitional housing or on acquaintances’ couches. Some LGBT youth are kicked out of their houses, while others choose to leave to protect themselves from a negative home environment.
Between 20 and 40 percent of all homeless youth are LGBT identified, though some advocates believe this number is under reported (2006 National Gay & Lesbian Task Force: “An Epidemic of Homelessness”). This stands in stark contrast to the estimated 4 to 10 percent of the entire population that is LGBT identified. For LGBT youth who are homeless, 62 percent will attempt suicide at least once — a rate that is more than two times the rate of their heterosexual peers (Van Leeuwen JMm et al – Child Welfare 2005). LGBT youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth (http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/lgbtq.html).
Furthermore, LGBT homeless youth are disproportionately likely to also be people of color (read more about issues relating to the LGBT people of color)
If you are (or someone you know is) a homeless LGBT youth, there is help out there. Here are some resources you can access:
- The National Runaway Switchboard (LGBT accepting national organization for homeless youth)
- 24/7 crisis hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)
- Live chat service: www.1800RUNAWAY.org,
- The Ali Forney Center: Housing for LGBT Youth: http://www.aliforneycenter.org/resources.html
- Go to this website to find a list of many LGBT homeless youth shelters and resources located around the United States.
- To learn more about how to make your local homeless shelter a safer space for LGBT youth, please visit:
- Best Practices for LGBT Homeless Youth: http://www.nyacyouth.org/resources/resource.php?id=299
- For Transgender Youth: http://www.thetaskforce.org/reports_and_research/trans_homeless
- The Ali Forney Center
- The Trevor Project
- 2006 National Gay & Lesbian Task Force: An Epidemic of Homelessness, Van Leeuwen JMm et al – Child Welfare 2005
- National Coalition for the Homeless: “LGBT Homeless”
- Advocates for Youth: “The Impact of Homophobia and Racism on GLBTQ Youth of Color”
- “LGBTQ Youth in Crisis: Being Out, Being Safe”
- National Recommended Best Practices for Serving LGBT Homeless Youth