November 17, 2015
According to multiple reports, 40% of homeless youth (ages 12-24) identify as either lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender (LGBT). The leading cause of homelessness among this group? Being disowned or rejected by family who do not approve of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Once on the street, homeless LGBT youth face greater instances of abuse and violence, and are at increased risk of substance abuse, mental health issues and HIV-infection. Their challenges are further compounded by discrimination when seeking shelter or transitional housing; the National Coalition for the Homeless states that there are currently no protections for LGBT youth denied housing by federally funded housing programs.
How can you become an advocate for our homeless LGBT youth here in San Diego County? The best way to start is to educate yourself on the unique issues this demographic faces.
The San Diego LGBT Center is celebrating their 42nd year of service to the local LGBT community. Their doors are always open to those looking to get involved in the lives of LGBT youth through their Youth Services programs.
Volunteers are needed to help as mentors, group facilitators, tutors, activity leaders, outreach volunteers, and special event assistance for events such as the Rainbow Prom.
The Sunburst Youth Housing Project is one of the first housing projects in the nation to cater exclusively to the needs and challenges of LGBT youth. The Sunburst Youth Housing project offers 23 units of affordable, supportive housing for LGBT youth and those who are HIV-positive between 18-24 years of age.
For more information on The San Deigo LGBT Center and how to get involved visit the link below.