Homeless Services for the LGBTQ+ Community

Solutions Journalism Network

Across the country, a recognized homelessness crisis is forcing communities to face the reality that transitioning out of homelessness can be incredibly difficult without access to affordable housing and necessary support services. That's already an issue - but for LGBTQ+ people, especially LGBTQ+ children and young adults, who research has shown disproportionately experience homelessness, shelters are not always the safe space they should be and services are often insufficient at targeting their needs. 

That means that communities need to do more to target LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness, and organizations across the United States are working to fill that gap. In Michigan, healthcare groups are crafting coordinated strategies to address youth homelessness and the additional barriers to much-needed health services. There's Still Hope is a program in North Carolina that provides temporary housing for members of the LGBTQ community - focusing especially on transgender women - while also providing grocery stipends, transportation funds, and skills training to help affected community members find employment. In Philadelphia, The Way Home is a rapid rehousing project designed specifically for LGBTQ+ adults with extremely low barriers for screening people out. And in New York City, the Ali Forney Center serves about 2,000 homeless LGBTQ+ young people every year, nearly half of whom come from out of state.

Together, these stories are examples of the good work being done to protect LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness, and an indicator of how much more there is to be done. 

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