This week’s infographic comes from Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER), a youth-led organization in Los Angeles dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students. They estimate that between 320,000 and 400,000 LGBTQ youth experience homelessness in the US each year and 40% of youth who are homeless in the US identify as LGBTQ. In New York, the average age at which a lesbian or gay youth becomes homeless is 14, while the age for transgender youth is 13.5 years old. 

There is a connection between youth homelessness and family dynamics. 68% of LGBTQ youth who are homeless have experienced rejection from members of their family, and 54% say they have experienced family abuse. The exposure to rejection among LGBTQ youth is not limited to their families but also support services such as shelters, where 1 in 3 transgender people say they have been refused a bed.

There are not enough services available to help LGBTQ youth who are homeless. 15% of homeless shelters reported helping LGBTQ youth is “not central to their mission”. However, research has shown helping and housing LGBTQ youth would be far more cost effective than other alternatives. The infographic states that it would cost US taxpayers $54,000 per year to incarcerate a youth who is homeless, compared to a cost of $6,000 to permanently move the same youth off the streets and prevent them from becoming incarcerated.

In Canada, 25-40% of youth who are homeless identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning and 2-spirited (LGBTQ2S). There are currently minimal supports to meet specific needs of LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness in Canada. However, there are ongoing efforts to change that. Canada's first transitional housing program for LGBTQ2S youth opened in Toronto earlier this year and a queer-exclusive transitional home, run by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, is expected to open in the fall of 2017.


Homeless LGBTQ Youth Infographic
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