“About 40% of homeless youth are LGBT… Nearly seven in 10 (68%) respondents indicated that family rejection was a major factor contributing to LGBT youth homelessness, making it the most cited factor. More than half (54%) of respondents indicated that abuse in their family was another important factor contributing to LGBT homelessness. Statistically, LGBT youth make up no more than 10% of that population segment, yet total 40% of homeless youth.”
LGBT youth who are rejected and/or abused at home suffer the highest risks. To survive life on the streets, they often turn to sex work for money and self-medication for their pain. Much more can and must be done to help families and their LGBT and questioning youth preserve the most fundamental unit of psychological and emotional support, the family.
- The Williams Institute. “America’s Shame: 40% of Homeless Youth Are LGBT Kids.”
- Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy (2013), In Brief: LGBT Youth of Color and Mental Health
- Family Acceptance Project
- The National Runaway Switchboard operates 1-800-RUNAWAY, a confidential and anonymous crisis hotline for runaway and homeless youth available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services include crisis intervention, referrals to local resources and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members. Through a partnership with Greyhound Lines, Inc., NRS runs the Home Free program, a youth-initiated program for family reunification that provides a free bus ticket home. Call 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) for help.