Main | Friday, December 15, 2006

Gay Youth Homeless: 500,000+

The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has released a report titled An Epidemic Of Homelessness which estimates that there are 8400 homeless youth in NYC who are gay, lesbian or transgendered. The report estimates that 42%, more than half a million, of all homeless youth nationwide are LGBT.

From the report:

Family conflict, including conflict over a youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is the primary cause for young people becoming homeless. In one study, 50 percent of gay male teens who came out to their parents experienced a negative reaction and 26 percent of them were told they must leave home.

LGBT youth report experiencing discrimination, harassment and violence at shelters and service providers. For example, one facility in Michigan forced youth who identified as or were perceived as being LGBT to wear orange jumpsuits.

LGBT homeless youth are more likely to suffer from mental health issues and substance abuse than are their heterosexual peers, and are more likely to be victimized by sexual predators.

There are a total of 65 beds in homeless shelters devoted to gay youth in NYC.

UPDATE: Please consider making a holiday donation to the Ali Forney Center, a homeless shelter for LGBT youth named for a homeless teen who was murdered on the streets of New York in 1997.

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