Oftentimes, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people find themselves homeless after coming out because their family is unable to accept them...
The Center for American Progress estimates in a new study that gay and transgender youth account for 20-40 percent of homeless youth in the US, while only about 5-10 percent of the general youth population is LGBT.The report comes just before the Obama administration is scheduled to release the first-ever national strategy to prevent and end homelessness. The federal government’s budget for homeless-assistance programs is $4.2 billion, plus the $1.5 billion that President Obama included in the stimulus package last year. Out of that initial budget, only $195 million is allocated to address youth homelessness, and an even smaller percentage of that goes specifically toward homeless youth who are on the streets without parents or other guardians.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty estimates that approximately 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year in the US, about half of them being youth. The Center for American Progress study examines not only the numbers of youth that are on the streets or in shelters each night, but also what that means for these individuals. The report offers statistics about how domestic abuse and violence leads to homelessness and how homelessness can lead to involvement in drug and alcohol abuse and sex work for survival. The report also suggests that there is a disproportionate number of homeless LGBT youth because families are banishing their gay and transgender children as they come out younger and younger. In New York, the report finds, the average age that a gay or lesbian youth becomes homeless is 14.4 years old. The White House has not indicated whether the new national strategy to end homelessness will address the disproportionate number of LGBT homeless youth.
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