Homeless or in Foster Care
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  Raising the Roof’s national public education campaign, Homeless Youth have nothing but Potential, received international acclaim when Leo Burnett Toronto won a Silver in the Press competition for its “Chair” print ad at the prestigious 58th International Festival of Creativity in Cannes in June 2011.

Raising the Roof and pro bono partner Burnett launched the thought-provoking national campaign on February 21, 2011. It included TV and radio public spots, ads in newspaper and magazines, transit stations and shelters, movie theatres, restaurant washrooms, elevators, outdoor billboards, facebook banner ads and much more. All advertising space was donated.

See the Campaign Gallery


Being Safe, Being Out: Helping LGBTQ Youth in Crisis (pdf format) - a brochure from the National Runaway Switchboard for LGBTQ youth, their friends, and families. Ever wonder whether the National Runaway Switchboard was a safe place to refer a homeless GLBTQ youth? Here's a free, downloadable brochure from them with statistics, information and resources for your clinic or counseling waiting room or the literature rack in your classroom or library.

Also from National Runaway Switchboard:
Let's Talk -The Runaway Prevention Curriculum - Module 12 - Sexuality And Sexual Orientation
(pdf format) - this lesson plan is part of National Runaway Switchboard's The 14 Module Let's Talk Curriculum.  At the end of each module are pre- and post-tests for the participants. You may also order a CD version of the curriculum through their materials order form. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions or to return pre and post tests please contact the Prevention Specialist at 773-289-1723 or via email at prevention@1800RUNAWAY.org.

Challenges Faced by Homeless Sexual Minorities: Comparison of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Homeless Adolescents With Their Heterosexual Counterparts (pdf format) - from American Journal of Public Health, May 2002, Vol. 92, No. 5, pgs. 773-777.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Homelessness Amongst Lesbian and Gay Youth - W. O’Connor and D. Molloy, 2001.  ISBN/ISSN: 0-904607-79-8. A report which looks into the reasons for homelessness among young lesbians and gay men, and the problems they face. Researchers spoke to a cross section of lesbians and gay men aged 15-24 from six cities across the UK. The report also looks at service provision among housing and homelessness agencies, and makes recommendations about how homeless lesbian and gay youth can be better served. London: National Centre for Social Research; Phone: 020 7549 8520; Fax: 020 7250 1524; E-mail: s.johnson@natcen.ac.uk; Cost: £12.50 plus £2.50 p&p.

The Kids Are Listening - a nationwide campaign by the American Bar Association Center (ABA) Center on Children and the Law, created to ensure that the thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) children and teens who are in foster care receive the legal rights and protection they deserve and need. As part of this program, the ABA Center on Children and the Law provides trainings, free resources, works one-on-one with legal and social services professionals - from judges to children's attorneys and social services personnel - who are involved in the foster care community to make their community a better and safer place for LGBTQ foster kids. Watch this moving and motivating video (below) that demonstrates how everything that we do and say as lawyers, judges and adults in these children's lives makes a difference. Find out how you, as a teacher, parent and active member of the community can make a difference in these kids lives by visiting: http://www.TheKidsAreListening.org.

They also hope you will Like "The Kids Are Listening" on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KidsAreListening and Follow "The Kids Are Listening" on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/kidsrlistening.

"The Kids are Listening" campaign is part of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law's Opening Doors Project, which was created in 2005 to increase the legal community's awareness of LGBTQ youth in foster care and the unique issues they face and to provide the legal community with advocacy tools to successfully represent these youth. A growing coalition of support is coming from major organizations across the nation including the Anti-Defamation League, Cartoon Network, the Child Welfare League of America, the It Gets Better Project, the Safe Schools Coalition, Healthy Teens Network, the National Association of Counsel for Children, the National Association of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the American Humane Association, the National Black Justice Coalition, Stop Bullying Now! (a federal program run by the Health Resources and Services Administration), and many others. Contact: Garry I. Bevel, Staff Attorney - ABA Center on Children and the Law; Opening Doors for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care; Address: 740 15th ST NW. Washington, DC. 20009; Phone: 202-662-1749; fax: 202.662.1755; Email: Garry.Bevel@americanbar.org; Website: http://www.TheKidsAreListening.org

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth: An epidemic of homelessness (pdf format -199 pages) - a January 30, 2007 report from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in collaboration with the National Coalition for the Homeless. Of the estimated 1.6 million homeless American youth, up to 42 percent identify as lesbian or gay, and a disproportionate number identify as bisexual or transgender. Why do LGBT youth become homeless? In one study, 26 percent of gay teens who came out to their parents/guardians were told they must leave home. LGBT youth also leave home due to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. LGBT youth report they are threatened, belittled and abused at shelters by staff as well as other residents.

LGBTQ Homeless Youth Fact Sheet (pdf format) - published on the SSC website with permission from The National Alliance to End Homelessness, a nonpartisan, mission-driven organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. The Alliance analyzes policy and develops pragmatic, cost-effective policy solutions. Working collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity, the Alliance provides data and research that lead to stronger programs and policies that help communities achieve their goal of ending homelessness.

Resources on LGBTQ youth in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems - The documents are part of a new tool kit from the National Center for Lesbian Rights designed to educate people about the experiences of LGBTQ youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Some are California-specific. The others are applicable anywhere.

Transitioning Our Shelters - A GUIDE TO MAKING HOMELESS SHELTERS SAFE FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE (pdf format) - by Lisa Mottet and John M. Ohle; 2003; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute National Coalition. "Because youth are coming out as transgender or crossdressing at earlier ages, a significant number are being kicked out of family homes."

We Don't Exactly Get the Welcome Wagon: The Experiences of Gay and Lesbian Adolescents in Child Welfare Systems - G. P. Mallon, 1998.  ISBN: 0-231-10455-3. The first comprehensive examination of the experiences of gay and lesbian youths in the child welfare system, Welcome Wagon makes solid recommendations to social work practitioners as well as to policy makers about how they can provide a competent practice for gay and lesbian adolescents, and offers a methods chapter which will be useful in classroom instruction. NY: Columbia University Press. @28.00 (pbk).

Working with Homeless LGBTQ Youth: Getting Down to Basics Tool Kit - from Lambda Legal.

Youth in the Margins: A Report on the Unmet Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescents in Foster Care - Current state foster-care programs neglect LGBT youth, and in many cases, promote a homophobic atmosphere that serves to undermine the welfare of LGBT youth. This report from Lambda Legal examines the foster-care programs of 14 states; highlighting the shortfalls of each program in addressing LGBT youth, and in turn providing recommendations so that these problems can be reformed. Lambda Legal's Foster Care Poster (pdf format) includes the hotline info below.

HOTLINE  top of page

Foster Care Helpline - for young people in foster care who have questions about LGBT-related discrimination or abuse, a service of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. The line is staffed (Pacific Standard Time) Monday-Friday, 6:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. [9-5:30, Eastern], but callers may leave messages 24-hours … Phone: 866-LGBTeen (542-8336). Contact person: Stefan Johnson - phone 213-382-7600.

Information  top of page

LGBTQI2-S Homeless Youth, a page from the Homelessness Resource Center of SAMSHA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Helath and Human Services. Youth who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, or Two-Spirited (LGBTQI2-S) are more likely to experience family conflict, abuse, and mental health problems than their heterosexual peers. Because of discrimination and stigma, LGBTQI2-S youth who are homeless are often careful to protect their sexual identities from service providers. In this feature, you will find information about LGBTQI2-S youth along with tips for working with them. Research notes are presented about the important differences among youth who are homeless and identify as heterosexual, bisexual, and gay and lesbian.

The Opening Doors Project, from American Bar Association, aims to increase the legal community’s awareness of LGBTQ youth in foster care and the unique issues they face, and provide the legal community with advocacy tools to successfully represent these youth.

  • The Opening Doors Project staff will provide substantive training based on the resource manual for lawyers, judges, advocates and other child welfare professionals.

  • During this three year project, staff of the ABA Center on Children and the Law will research and develop a resource manual and provide training and technical assistance on issues related to LGBTQ youth in foster care.

  • Opening Doors for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care: A Guide for Lawyers and Judges - by Mimi Laver and Andrea Khoury. This guide aims to increase the legal community’s awareness of LGBTQ youth in foster care and the issues they face. It provides tools for lawyers and judges to aid their advocacy and decision making on behalf of LGBTQ youth. Available for sale as a paperback, and some chapters are online for free in PDF format.

VIDEO  top of page

Out in the Cold - a documentary about homeless gay and lesbian youth.     

We Are ... GBLTQ - a 42 minute DVD that was produced by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration, the Washington State Department of Information Services, and director/Project Coordinator, Evonne Hedgepeth, Ph.D. - Lifespan Education, (Phone / Fax: 360-352-9980, evonne@lifespaneducation.com) who is available to consult (curricula writing, trainings, program design, etc.) and may be available to speak with the film at training events and conferences around the country. This is easily the BEST video about LGBTQ youth in recent memory. It’s about LGBTQ youth in foster care, featuring the wonderfully articulate, diverse voices of a dozen or so LGBTQ current and former foster kids, with guest appearances by some adult experts. It’s an excellent training tool intended for case workers, foster parents and others serving out-of-home youth, but absolutely great too for school counselors, nurses, social workers, teachers, physicians, parents …any adult who cares about youth…and for any youth in the child welfare system. Order free copies while they last from Carolyn Jones, Professional Development Unit, Children's Administration, Department of Social & Health Services, MS 45710, Olympia, WA 98502; Tel. 360-902-0215; Fax. 360-7588; Email. ZOCA300@dshs.wa.gov or Marianne K. Ozmun at ozmk300@dshs.wa.gov - 360-902-7928. The We Are ... GBLTQ video and an accompanying discussion guide are both available online at the Foster Parent Website http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/fosterparents/onGoingVid.asp. They are linked near the bottom in the list on the page. The discussion guide is at: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/ca/We Are GLBTQ Discussion and Resource Guide.pdf  (pdf format). You can watch the 42 minute film "We Are ... GLBTQ" online at  http://www.dshs.wa.gov/video/ca/New GLBTQ.asx


Out on the Streets (pdf format) - Twenty LGBTQ youth shared their stories about living on the streets. Five youth are featured in the presentation. The other stories appear in a study guide to accompany the exhibit and are especially designed for high school, church and community discussion around the challenges and needs of homeless youth - in particular, LGBTQ youth). It is of an approximately 7 feet by 8 feet display. If you are interested in having this exhibit at your school, church or place of work please contact Mary Dispenza, photographer and story research specialist at mcdispenza@comcast.net.

SHELTERS and SERVICES – UNITED STATES (alphabetical by state)

AZ: Eon's Homeless Youth Project - A program in Tucson of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Pima County Health Department and Wingspan. 

Part of Eon's larger program, the Homeless Youth Project offers advocacy, information, and limited services (hotel vouchers, some emergency food + toiletry supplies, bus tickets, etc.), and then helps people get into other youth shelters in town.  They also have a youth support group (on Saturdays from 3-4:30 pm) and more. Phone: 520-620-6245; Email: ccondit@saaf.org

CA: The Ark House - A 15-bed residence for LGBTQQ young adults, stays of 3 to 6 months.

San Francisco
Phone: 415-861-6130

Fax: 415-861-6103

Email: info@arkofrefuge.org

CA: L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Transitional Living Program - A 24-bed residence, located at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center where youth ages 18-23 can stay for up to 18 months.

Los Angeles

Phone: 323-993-7471
Email: youthservices@lagaycenter.org

CA: LA Gay & Lesbian Center, Jeff Griffith Youth Center - Services to youth under 24 years of age who are homeless or transitioning on a drop in basis: All services are FREE and only require the youth to register with the front desk. Open 8:00am to 4:30pm. 

7051 Santa Monica Blvd.; Los Angeles, Ca 90038
Phone: 323-993-7501

Email: youthservices@lagaycenter.org 


Breakfast 8:30am

Lunch 1:30pm

Laundry Room


Computer Access

Case Management services, GED assistance, and more - a safe space to rest and feel welcomed.

CA: Scheuer House - A supervised program in which 17-18 year old gay and lesbian youth live in shared apartments.   

GLASS: Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services

650 North Robertson Blvd, Suite A

West Hollywood, CA 90069

Phone: 310-358-8727

Fax: 310-358-8721

FL: SunServe - Central facility is located on the campus of the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW Ninth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315-1275; Phone: 954-764-5055; Email: Info@SunServe.org

SunServe has a program for family and youth especially targeting the need of homeless and “at risk” gay, lesbian, and questioning youth. Guided by various ongoing community advisory groups, SunServe develops specific services to reach out to LGBT youth where they are, provide acceptance, understanding, mentoring and counseling to assist young people in realizing their full potential. That includes educating families toward acceptance of   as well as intervening to reduce the harmful effects of family rejection on LGBT and questioning youth by providing a safe place for young persons to develop self acceptance and build life affirming skills.

SunServe services include:

A drop-in center and a rap group for LGBT and questioning 13-17 year old youth - Mondays 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Cooperation with other agencies to locate, train and license gay and lesbian foster parents.

Support services for gay and lesbian foster parents

Support and psycho-educational groups for LGBTQ youth.

Outreach to LGBTQ youth on the streets and in shelters.

Training foster care agency staff concerning the needs of LGBTQ youth.

IA: Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (Des Moines, IA) - The largest provider of runaway and homeless youth services in the state; 18 to 20% of their participants are GLBTQ.

Homeless and Runaway Street Outreach Center
701 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: 515-883-2379
Emergency: 515-249-1443

Email: ayouth@yss.ames.ia.us 

MA: Waltham House - Group home for serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) youth ages 14 to 18 years old.

The Home for Little Wanderers

271 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA 02115-4506

Phone: 617-267-3700

Fax: 617-267-8142

MI: Ruth Ellis Center ~ Ruth's House - Provides short-term and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless and at-risk gay, lesbian, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning youth ages 16-21 in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.

2727 Second Ave. Suite 158 
Detroit, MI 48201-2654 
Phone: 313-964-2091 
Fax: 313-964-3372 
Email: info@ruthelliscenter.com

MN: YouthLink: Project Offstreets - An innovative host home program for LGBTQ youth sponsored by The Minnesota Youth Diversion Project.

GLBT Host Home Program

41 North 12th Street

Minneapolis, MN 55403

Phone: 612-252-1205

Fax: 612-252-1201

NC: North Carolina Lambda Youth Network - Collaborating with a transitional housing agency in Durham to offer a residential program specifically for LGBT youth.

North Carolina Lambda Youth Network

115 Market Street, Suite 203

Durham, NC 27701

Phone: 919-683-3037

Email: execdir@nclyn.org

NY: The Ali Forney Center (AFC) - Emergency shelter, HIV prevention and life skills training for LGBT youth ages 16-24.  AFC does not accept walk-ins for the shelter - anyone interested in the waiting list should call 917-334-7032. For other contact, the information below is for the AFC headquarters:

The Ali Forney Center
3151 Broadway, Suite 2C
New York
, NY 10027

Phone: 212-222-3427.

Ali Forney Day Center: in the Chelsea section of Manhattan is the entry point to our programs for homeless youths. There we offer street outreach, referral to our housing programs, case management, primary medical care, HIV testing, mental health assessment and treatment, food and showers, and an employment assistance program.

AFC Emergency Housing Program: scattered-site emergency housing program with sites in Manhattan and Brooklyn. We offer temporary housing in safe, staff-supervised homelike apartments. LGBT youths are able to reside in our emergency housing program for up to six months while we assist them in moving on to more permanent housing. Currently AFC has 3 emergency housing apartments and a total of 18 beds.

AFC Transitional Housing: Tcurrently offers housing to 14 youths in 3 scattered sites in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The residents are able to live in our transitional housing program for up to two years, while we assist them in maintaining employment and in continuing their education. We place a great deal of emphasis in helping our residents become prepared to live independently, and our goal is that our residents, upon graduation from this program, will move on to their own apartments.

The Family Outreach Program: strives to assist families struggling with their LGBT youth in an effort to prevent young people from becoming homeless. The project aims to support and strengthen families by offering counseling, education and outreach services.

NY: Green Chimneys Children's Services, Inc.  New York City Programs for LGBTQ Children, Youth and Families - Residential, social service and educational programs that specifically focus on responding to the unique needs of GLBTQ youth and their families.  Programs include The Agency Operated Boarding Home AOBH - designed as a small, home-like, structured program for gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning males, 12-16 years old. The Gramercy Residence at Ungar House is a group residential program for gay, bisexual, transgender & questioning youth 16-20 years old. The Triangle Tribe Apartment Program consists of two elements for LGBTQ youth: a Transitional Living Program (TLP) and a Transitional Independent Living (TIL) program.

Administrative Offices
456 West 145th Street, Suite 1
New York, New York 10031
212 491-5911- phone
212 368-8975 – fax

NY: MCCNY Homeless Youth Services - Three emergency shelters (listed below) run by Metropolitan Community Church of New York providing emergency shelter to homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City for self identified gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, transsexual and questioning youth under 24 years of age.

Metropolitan Community Church of New York: 446 W 36 Street, New York, NY 10018
Contact: Kate Barnhart, Shelter Director; Email: kate_barnhart@yahoo.com; Phone at 718-300-0133
or Lucky Michaels, Shelter Administrator; Email: LuckyMichaels@gmail.com; Phone: 917-463-6439

Sylvia's Place - an emergency overnight shelter for LGBTQ youth (under 24) open 365 days/year from 8pm-8am. They provide hot meals (dinner and breakfast); clothing; showers; case management; physical and mental health medical services; court advocacy; and host a number of groups during the week. Sylvia's Place is located at 446 W.36th Street and accepts clients on a walk-in basis after 8pm daily as long as we have room. It is a good idea to call before coming to make sure there is space available: (718) 300-0133. No paperwork is necessary.

Sylvia's East - an intermediate shelter for LGBTQ youth (under 21) located in the East Village. Residents at Sylvia's East are expected to be engaged in school, work, or other constructive activities. To be eligible for Sylvia's East, a young person must first have completed a stay at Sylvia's Place. Sylvia's East does not accept direct referrals.

Sylvia's Sugar Hill - a 6-bed shelter at the Church of the Intercession on 155th Street designed to meet the needs of “chronically homeless” youth, who have been homeless for a year or more. These veterans of the shelter system are more stable than newly homeless youth, and need a more independent setting to prepare for transitioning to life on their own. Sylvia's Sugar Hill operates using a “youth-driven” model, meaning that residents provide a input into program design and operations based on extensive experience in the shelter system.

NY: Trinity Place Shelter for LGBTQ Youth - a 10-bed transitional shelter that provides LGBTQ youth between the ages of 18-24 with a safe place to sleep, eat, store belongings, and have access to transportation Through strong local community partnerships they are able to provide access to comprehensive medical services, case management, education, career counseling, art classes and mental health services. Their goal is to help LGBTQ youth safely transition out of the shelter system and grow into independent, positive, and productive adults. Youth can stay as long as they are making progress toward their goals.

Provided by Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan which has long sought to be a community of welcome and full inclusion for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, immigration status or sexual orientation.
Address: 164 West 100th Street, New York, New York 10025
Phone: 212-222-7045

Email: info@trinityplaceshelter.org

WA: Isis House - Transitional living for homeless youth, emphasizing service to LGBTQ young adults ages 18-21 with case management on site, up to 18-month stays.

Provided by YouthCare in Seattle.

Prefer agency referral: 206-694-4507

Youth can call: 800-495-7802 (24 Hour Help & Referral Line)

WA: La-Ba-Te-Yah Youth Home Community - Independent living program for homeless youth ages 14-21, for urban Native American and youth of color; case management on site; Two-Spirits program and a good number of Two-Spirit staff; up to 18-month stays.

Provided by United Indians of All Tribes Foundation in Seattle.

Open referral with interview process. Phone: 206-781-8303.

WA: The Shelter - Emergency shelter for 12-17 year olds; has been good about working with Trans youth around the separation of gender required by state licensing; up to 30 day stays - may extend.

Provided by YouthCare in Seattle

Open referral with screening. Phone: 206-694-4506.


United Kingdom: Albert Kennedy Trust (UK)

For information on how to make a referral or to request further information contact one of Albert Kennedy Trust's social workers: 

London 020 7831 6562  london@akt.org.uk 
Greater Manchester 0161 228 3308  manchester@akt.org.uk 
Brighton & Hove 01273 724 404 brightonandhove@akt.org.uk 

Supported Lodgings

Self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual

Aged 16-21 (22-25 will be considered in exceptional circumstances)

Homeless, living in a hostile environment or in a housing crisis

Living in or able to move to: Greater Manchester, London (any London borough), Brighton & Hove

In need of one to one residential support

Supported Lodgings

Self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual

Aged 16-21 (22-25 will be considered in exceptional circumstances)

Homeless, living in a hostile environment or in a housing crisis

Living in or able to move to: Greater Manchester, London (any London borough), Brighton & Hove

In need of one to one residential support


Self identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual

Aged up to 25

Access to Greater Manchester, London or Brighton & Hove

Homeless, living (or potentially) in a hostile environment, in a housing crisis or just need someone to talk to

In need of one to one non-residential support

OVERVIEW top of page
by Joseph Truong at National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC)

How many LGBTQ youth are homeless and what are some resources out there to find out more? We're often asked to give specific numbers about the latest known statistics on homeless/runaway LGBTQ youth on a national basis. A few caveats need to be made before offering any statistics:

Many of these statistics were based specifically on surveys of homeless/runaway youth in large metropolitan cities (among others, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles), and sometimes this has been broadened to say they represent a national statistic, although obviously using very city-specific results can at best only represent statistics within that city.


Many of these surveys were from articles, reports and surveys done quite a number of years ago (going as far back as the mid-1980s)

 That said, although we don't have any current, national statistics on the number of LGBTQ youth among the homeless/runaway youth population, the numbers most often bandied around range from 25% to 40% for urban areas, depending on whom you rely on:

 26% of gay adolescent males were forced to leave home as a result of their sexual identity (Paul Gibson, "Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide", Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide, 1989)

Agencies serving street youth in Los Angeles estimate that 25-35% of homeless youth are lesbian and gay, and in Seattle, 40% of homeless youth are estimated to be lesbian or gay. (Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman, Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling, 1998)

The National Network of Runaway and Youth Services has estimated that 20-40% of youths who become homeless each year are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Youth in the Margins, 2001)

So, unfortunately, it's difficult to give exact figures and data on it. However, I think it's safe to say that a least a proportionate number of LGBTQ-identified youth are among the homeless/street population, if not much higher (sadly).

from Rob Connoley at Indiana Youth Group  

In 1989 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that LGBT youth constituted 25% of all youth living on the street.

In 1998 Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman wrote a book titled “Lesbian and Gay Youth”, that was published by the Columbia University Press.  The authors analyzed studies on homeless and runaway youth conducted in Seattle and Los Angeles and found that in these city-funded studies that gay and lesbian youth accounted for 20 to 40% of all homeless youth.

On March 12, 1999 UPN broadcasted a section of “The Teen Files” called “The Truth About Hate” that was produced by Arnold Shapiro who is best known for his series called “Scared Straight”.  During the research for this program his staff found that 42% of all homeless youth identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

David Allen, a lawyer in Portland, Oregon, analyzed data collected in 1993 by Outside In, a medical and counseling agency serving homeless youth.  According to the agency’s findings, about 20% of Outside In’s clients classified themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.  During the following year, that number increased to 30%.

According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, “Anti-Gay/Lesbian Victimization” (1984) and The Journal of Pediatrics, “Male Homosexuality: The Adolescent’s Perspective,” 26% of gay and lesbian youth are forced to leave home because of conflict with family members about their sexual orientation.

According to the Seattle Commission on Children and Youth (1986), “Survey of Street Youth”, approximately 40% of homeless youth are identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

According to The National Network of Runaway and Youth Services, “To Whom Do They Belong?: Runaway, Homeless and Other Youth in High-Risk Situations in the 1990’s a 1991 report said that service providers estimate that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth make up 20-40% of homeless youth in urban areas.

According to GLAD, a gay and lesbian youth group in Decatur, Illinois, they found that 42% of homeless youth in Decatur identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

In an article written by Matt Lum of The Triangle, the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, in a report titled “Discrimination Toward Lesbian Women and Gay men” it was reported that 26% of adolescent males have had to leave home due to their sexual orientation and 42% of homeless youth self-identify as gay or lesbian.

According to a 1992 Advocate article titled “Throwaway Kids, The National Network of Runaway and Youth Services has estimated that ‘20% - 40% of the 1.3 million kids who become homeless each year’ are ‘gay, lesbian and bisexual youth.”

Gabe Kruks from the Journal of Adolescent Health in a report titled, “Gay and Lesbian Homeless/Street Youth: Special Issues and Concerns reports on an estimate of “25-35%” of homeless youth for Los Angeles are GLB.

“A 1986 survey of street youth conducted by the Orion Center in Seattle”, estimated that 40% of their street youth were GLB. 

According to Paul Gibson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 26% of lesbian and gay youth are forced to leave home because of their sexual orientation.   Out of that 26% Gibson found that 25% of youth living on the streets are lesbian and gay.   If rejected by their families and unable to access support services, many GLBT young people become homeless, increasing their likelihood of engaging in prostitution and heightening risk for alcohol and drug abuse, violence, suicide, and HIV and other STD’s

In 1998 Pohan and Bailey did research for the FBI and found that “ 26% of (GLBT youth) who ‘come out’ to their families are thrown out of their homes because of conflicts with moral and religious values.  They continued , saying it is estimated that 30% - 40% of homeless youth in large cities are gay/lesbian youth.”

Rob MacDonald, project coordinator for the Host Homes Program in Ottawa Canada says that, while working with street kids, he found 30% of cases had GLBT issues.

According to the PTS & Ottawa-Carleton GLBT Health Task Group’s research for: “A Proposal for a GLBT Health/Wellness Needs Assessment and Community Resource Mapping Project”, they found that 25 – 40% of homeless youth are GLBT.


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