On the Streets: The Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless Youth

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Center for American Progress


Recognizing the disproportionate number of homeless youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, the Center for American Progress recommends several steps for the federal government to better respond to the needs of these youths.

Currently, no federal protections exist for LGBT homeless youth against discrimination while accessing federally funded homeless services, this new report states.  Moreover, officials who award federal grants to homeless youths are not mandated to award the grants without discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  The authors find that the lack of policies prevents LGBT homeless youths from receiving equal access to the federal services.

The report details five steps to reduce the incidence of LGBT youth homelessness and improve federal services for them: strengthen families with LGBT children to prevent youth homelessness; make schools a safe haven for all youths, including LGBT youth; recognize and protect these youths from falling through the cracks by recognizing them as special-needs populations; take steps to expand housing options for LGBT homeless youths; and initiate research on this topic to secure documentation to address the issues adequately.

Though they are estimated to be just 5 to 7 percent of the total youth population, LGBT youths are about 20 percent of homeless youth nationwide, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Free, 41 pages.  www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/06/pdf/lgbtyouthhomelessness.pdf.