1. Introduction: Where Are We Now?

Though a growing body of research examines LGBTQ2S youth homelessness, gaps in knowledge remain, and large-scale data collection continues to be limited. Research shows that LGBTQ2S youth make up a disproportionate number of youth experiencing homelessness in North America. Estimated to comprise 20–40% of the overall homeless youth population, the percentage of LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness is at least three times greater than the percentage of the general LGBTQ2S youth population, which is thought to be between 5–10% of the overall youth population. The National Youth Homelessness Survey, which recently surveyed 1,103 youth experiencing homelessness across Canada, found that 29.5% of young people surveyed self-identified as LGBTQ2S, while 6% self-identified as transgender, Two-Spirit, and non-binary. A recent survey of street outreach programs in the U.S. found that 7% of 656 young people surveyed self-identified as transgender.

It is difficult to measure precisely how many youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ2S, for a variety of reasons.

Alex Abramovich
Jama Shelton
Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness