How Are Programs Serving LGBT Youth?

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A survey sponsored by the Palette Fund, the True Colors Fund and the Williams Institute has confirmed what many youth workers have long believed: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth make up a large portion of young people experiencing homelessness.

The LGBT Homeless Youth Provider Survey was conducted online from October 2011 to March 2012. Its findings are summarized in the report "Serving Our Youth: Findings from a National Survey of Services Providers Working With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Becoming Homeless" (PDF, 1.84MB).

Among the findings:

  • Nearly all (94 percent) youth workers who responded to the survey reported working with LGBT runaway and homeless youth in the past year.
  • LGBT youth made up 43 percent of drop-in center clients, 30 percent of street outreach program clients, and 30 percent of housing program clients.
  • Approximately 40 percent of programs did not have services that address the most commonly cited factor contributing to LGBT youths' homelessness: rejection by family because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
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