On Wednesday, April 25 Voices of Youth Count released a new study on the increased vulnerability for homelessness for LGBTQ youth. The latest study, LGBTQ Youth Homelessness in America, determined that LGBTQ young people are most at risk of youth subpopulations for homelessness. The survey of 18 to 25-year-old young adults found that, in the previous 12 months, 4 percent of white non-LGBTQ youth were homeless, 7 percent of Black non-LGBTQ were homeless, and both of those numbers increase for LGBTQ youth with 8 percent homelessness for whites and 16 percent for Black young people. The definitions of homelessness did not include “couch-surfing” or overnight stays. The LGBTQ population group experiences homelessness at more than twice the rate of their non-LGBTQ peers. Young black men are at the highest rate of homelessness.
The study also found this group to experience higher levels of adversity, including higher rates of assault, of exchanging sex for basic needs, and early death. Homelessness stems from more than just “coming-out” as some might suspect. Many of the families of these young people face issues of instability, including poverty, violence, addiction or mental health problems.
As part of the report, the authors issue a call to action. They recommend that systems and services must include encouraging more and more sensitive data collection on runaway and homeless youth, enhanced training on what issues these young people face and greater engagement of youth in designing how systems and programs respond.
You can find a one-page highlight here.