The Supporting Healthy and Successful Transitions to Adulthood: A Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness (Youth Plan) was developed to address the unique needs of youth. The Youth Plan places particular importance on strengthening and reunifying families whenever possible, ensuring that youth experience healthy transitions across the system of care and within the youth serving sector, and preventing youth homelessness. The Alberta Youth Plan has identified that ending youth homelessness requires the prioritization of specific subpopulations of young people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth.
LGBTQ2S youth are highly overrepresented amongst the homeless youth population, making up 25-40% of homeless youth in Canada. LGBTQ2S youth are especially vulnerable to mental health concerns, and face increased risk of physical & sexual exploitation, substance use & suicide. Family rejection, inadequate social services, and discrimination in housing, employment, and education make it difficult for LGBTQ2S youth to secure safe and affirming places to live. Prioritizing subpopulations, such as LGBTQ2S youth, provides the Government of Alberta with a unique opportunity to respond and act, by developing targeted responses that involve critical attention on meeting the needs of this population of young people.