Written By: Amy Zheng
The month of November is dedicated to a few causes, one such being homeless youth in America. A group of people under this umbrella are the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ homeless youth refers to LGBTQ+ teenagers without shelter or a house to live in. The experience of this group of people is different from those who identify themselves as heterosexual (attraction to the opposite sex). According to youth.gov, non-LGBTQ+ youths experience homeless at a lower rate than LGBTQ+ youths. This is caused by several factors:
- Family members rejected their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can negatively ruin their self-image and self-esteem. They can even lose their home if their parents decide to kick them out.
- Experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse may force them to leave their home. Unfortunately, this may be their only option.
- When they reach a certain age, they age out of the foster care system. This leaves them on their own without shelter.
- If they are neglected financially and emotionally, they do not have the resources to support a good life. They are left to fend for themselves.
Being homeless before reaching adulthood is tremendously hard for those who have not had any experience supporting themselves. Thankfully, there are resources and shelters for these youths. Organizations, such as the Trevor Project, are all about supporting LGBTQ+ individuals, not just those who are in need of shelter. If you visit the NYS website (https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/youth/lgbtq/resources-youth.php) or the Trevor Project website, they have linked resources to provide support.
Although there are available resources out there, it does not make supporting themselves any less of a hardship. This month is dedicated to bringing awareness that youth homelessness is still an ongoing issue and is meant to help raise support to all of the young people experiencing this.