Helping All of Our Homeless

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Helping All of Our Homeless: Developing a Gay and Transgender Inclusive Federal Plan to End Homelessness

Center for America Progress

This study highlights how President Barack Obama’s proposed plan to end homelessness in America should include more specific provisions for gay and transgendered persons who are homeless.

According to the research from Jeff Krehely and Jerome Hunt, gay and transgender youth make up about 20 percent of the youth homeless population, but only 5 percent of the total youth population.

The high rate of homelessness among these youth is partly because gay youth are, on average, disclosing their sexual preferences at earlier ages. Today, the average age ranges from 14 to 16, whereas in the 1970’s it was 19 to 24.

When they come out, they often face families, peers, educators, etc. who are unprepared to offer guidance or support, and the youths can then end up on the streets.

The Center for American Progress also cites statistics showing gay and transgendered persons being discriminated against in the workplace. Sixteen to 68 percent of gay and transgender individuals experience some form of workplace discrimination at some point in their lives, according to a study by The Williams Institute in 2007.

Gay men may earn 10 percent to 32 percent less than their heterosexual male co-workers with similar qualifications.

The study recommends the White House instruct the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness to amend the existing Federal Strategic Plan to include a particular focus on the gay and transgender population.

Free. 9 pages. www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/helping_homeless.html.