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  • Nic F. Anderson

New Report: 28% of LGBTQ+ Youth Nationwide Experience Homelessness, Housing Instability

Trevor Project reported that 28 percent of LGBTQ+ youth have experienced homelessness or housing instability at some point in their lives in the organization’s newest report titled “Homelessness and Housing Instability Among LGBTQ Youth.”

The report found that the individuals who did experience housing issues, compared to their counterparts with stable housing, were two to four times the likely to report depression, anxiety, self-harm, contemplating suicide and attempting suicide.

“LGBTQ youth are overrepresented among young people experiencing homelessness and

housing instability in the United States. This elevated risk of homelessness and housing

instability has detrimental effects on LGBTQ youths’ mental health,” the Trevor Project wrote in its report.

Sixteen percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported to the Trevor Project they slept away from their parents or caregivers because they ran away from home, 55% ran away due to mistreatment or fear of mistreatment due to their identity. Fourteen percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported they slept away from their parents or caregivers because they were kicked out of the house or abandoned due to their identity.

There are many factors other than being kicked out of a home or fleeing an unsafe situation. Other factors that contribute to homelessness and housing instability include the COVID-19 pandemic; discrimination against a person’s race, sexual orientation, gender identity or one of more of the above; racism (BIPOC have been historically and statistically proven to have been paid less than white counterparts); and being born into poverty, just to name a few.

The report found that nearly half (44%) of Native and Indigenous LGBTQ+ youth experienced homelessness or housing insecurity at some point in their life, compared to 36% of multiracial youth, 27% white youth, 27% Latinx youth, 26% Black youth and 15% of Asian American/Pacific Islander youth, .

Homelessness and housing insecurity were reported at higher rates among transgender and nonbinary youth– approximately 39% of transgender boys and men; 38% of transgender girls and women; and 35% of nonbinary youth – compared to 23% percent of their cisgender counterparts.

LGBTQ+ youth who experienced homelessness or housing instability reported higher rates of victimization, being in foster care, food insecurity, substance abuse, sexual assault, survival sex, amongst other things.

To combat LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, the Trevor Project recommends strong anti-discrimination policies, increasing funding for low-barrier housing programs, reimagining shelter services, improving data collection on LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and anti-poverty economic policies.

If you or someone you know in New York City are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, please visit one of the city’s youth drop-in shelters for assistance.

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