Having stable and safe housing is important to every individual’s well-being and ability to flourish. Unfortunately, LGBTQ youth and adults are 2-4 times more likely to become homeless than non-LGBTQ people. The following is a brief examination of the challenges facing LGBTQ people in maintaining housing security.
According to The Trevor Project, “LGBTQ youth and young adults are overrepresented among young people experiencing homelessness and housing instability in the United States.” On average, 40% of the homeless youth population identifies as LGBTQ while only representing 2% of the total youth population. The disparity in these numbers is widely due to family rejection of LGBTQ identities, resulting in more LGBTQ youth being kicked out of their homes or abandoned. What are some ways that the CNY community is working to help this overrepresented youth community?
The Q Center ACR Health: Located in Syracuse, NY, The Q Center is a safe space for LGBTQ youths, families and allies. Case management services are available for youth who need assistance with housing, advocacy, medical care, mental health services, transportation, identity documents and other issues.
Rescue Mission Youth Shelter: The Rescue Mission in Syracuse, along with community support from ACR Health and McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center, are working on completion of a 10-bed emergency youth shelter. This shelter will serve runaway and homeless youths ages 12 to 17 with a focus on serving and affirming LGBTQ youth.
The issues that LGBTQ youth face often carry on through adulthood. According to the UCLA Williams Institute, LGBTQ adults have higher rates of poverty and homelessness than non-LGBTQ adults. An array of stigma and discrimination across the course of their lifetimes undermines their ability to have stable, safe, and affordable housing. Federal, state and local laws only provide a patchwork of protections against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in housing, lending and social services.
At Housing Visions, our Housing Stability Coordinators work closely with those we serve to provide referrals to community based organizations in an effort to assist all residents remain stably housed and improve their quality of life. Our team is always developing new workshops and attending trainings to gain a better understanding of how to serve an array of needs with a focus on those that may feel marginalized. Housing Visions is an inclusive organization and we welcome residents and employees from all walks of life.