A network of support
But few are engineered to address the specific issues that LGBTQ+ youths face.
For instance, there are homeless shelters for young people all over the country, but most cater to the population in general, even though LGBTQ+ youths constitute about 40 percent of the individuals they serve, according to the “Serving Our Youth” report from The Williams Institute (Durso, 2012).
A lack of funding compounds the problem, forcing organizations to do a lot with a little.
But a simple focus on the main cause of strife for LGBTQ+ youths could change everything. Research shows that family rejection is the biggest factor contributing to the homelessness of LGBTQ+ youths, and yet 40 percent of organizations that serve homeless LGBTQ+ youths don’t have programs in place to address that. Homeless organizations aren’t alone in their avoidance of the issue, and according to a study from the Family Acceptance Project, programming that tackles family head on is critical to serving this population well — in all aspects of their life.
Read more about how organizations can adapt to provide more support for LGBTQ+ youths, especially when it comes to improving family dynamics and creating more supportive home environments.
Durso, L. E., & Gates, G. J. (2012, July). Serving our youth: Findings from a national survey of service providers working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/serving-our-youth-lgbtq/