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What it’s about: This report discusses the reasons lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning, or LGBTQ, youth become homeless and the special challenges they face on the street.
Why read it: LGBTQ youth are over-represented among homeless youth. Once on the street, they are more likely than other youth to experience hate crimes and other trauma, be sexually exploited, engage in survival sex, use drugs and have mental health problems. Youth workers need to understand the particular dangers homeless LGBTQ young people face in order to help them effectively.
Biggest takeaways for youth workers: The authors encourage a strengths-based approach to working with homeless young people and offer specific recommendations for working with LGBTQ youth. Suggestions include the following:
providing increased support and early intervention for families with sexual minority youth
increasing community awareness about issues LGBTQ youth face
creating safe spaces free of homophobia
encouraging LGBTQ adults to become foster parents or mentors
engaging LGBTQ youth in designing appropriate services and support
developing new services that address the needs of all homeless youth
(Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children and Families. Go to the NCFY literature database for abstracts of these and other publications.)