Homelessness and LGBT Youth

Baresco Escobar, 19, from Fairfax, Virginia, an aspiring entertainer who identifies himself as bisexual, visits a local fast-food hangout popular among LGBT youth in Manhattan's Union Square, Thursday, March 1, 2012. When he leaves late in the evening, Escobar goes to the far end of Brooklyn to sleep in an abandoned house with dozens of other homeless kids. SOURCE: AP/Bebeto Matthews via Center for American Progress

A new article by the Center for American Progress highlights three threats to the health and wellness of LGBT young people. Bullying, family rejection and homelessness are named as preventable injustices faced by LGBT young people.

“Homelessness disrupts the lives and development of these young people and can lead to significant negative outcomes in mental and physical health, lower educational attainment, and economic instability. In short, lack of a stable home presents barriers to a healthy and productive adulthood.

These youth face more than just the significant risks associated with a lack of shelter—they are also exposed to dangers that can follow them for the rest of their lives. Homelessness can take a toll on the mental health of LGBT young people: Studies show that gay and lesbian homeless youth are more likely to be experiencing depression and post-traumatic stress disorders than heterosexual homeless youth” — Andrew Cray, Policy Analyst, LGBT Research and Communications Project, Center for American Progress

Our policy solutions must address the specific needs of LGBT young people. We must ensure that our shelters are safe places and young people are not forced to return to unsafe living condition with unsympathetic family members.


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