Wednesday, January 31, 2007
A report on LGBT youth homelessness released yesterday by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for the Homeless is, put simply, a shit show. It finds that 20 to 40 percent of homeless youth in the U.S. are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. (About 4 percent of youth are GLBT.) Discrimination makes the youth more likely to be turned out and it also makes it harder for them to access shelters. Less than 1 percent of the $105-million budget for the federal Runaway, Homeless and Missing Children Protection Act goes to organizations that work exclusively with GLBT populations. Even San Francisco, a destination for many homeless queer youth, has just 25 public housing units set aside for them. I'm morbidly curious to see if Congress will turn a blind eye to the study, or if legislators will set their homophobia aside long enough to deal with the massive problem it documents.