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.
- Why are LGBTQ+ people at increased risk for experiencing homelessness? How are their experiences negatively compounded by traditional social services?
- What are social determinants of health?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks to the housing-first approach to rehousing homeless persons?
- How can solutions journalism contribute to advancing equitable rights and social services for the LGBTQ community?
- Journalism is a collaborative practice: reporters are writing for their community, but they also depend on community members as sources for information. Indeed, the very purpose of journalism, according to the American Press Institute, is to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments. With that in mind, SJN wants to help connect news readers and journalists. Beside the name of the journalist on any of our story pages or the results page of the Solutions Story Tracker, you’ll find a Twitter icon that will link you directly to the journalists profile. Tweet at them with questions or compliments about their piece - you might be surprised by how much writers want to engage with their audiences! Don’t forget to tag us too (@soljourno) and use the hashtag #journalistintheclassroom if you are reading as part of an academic assignment.