Gay Youths Find Place to Call Home in Specialty Shelters

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The New York Times

Responding to the needs of a high number of gay youths in the homeless population, several specialty shelters have opened around the nation to serve them. Advocates and researchers say gay youths may be avoiding other group homes, shelters and foster care because they fear violence and harassment.

More than 25 such shelters now exist, but the demand still exceeds the supply: Ruth’s House, in Detroit, has a three-month waiting list, and San Francisco has only 15 beds to serve a homeless gay youth population estimated at more than 1,000. Gay advocacy groups have urged Congress to provide more money specifically for these young people, but federal financing for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act has decreased over the past three years. May 17,