Research reveals that experiencing marginalization, physical or verbal threats, discrimination, and trauma can undermine physical, social, emotional, and mental health. This can be particularly true for youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) or questioning (Q) their sexual orientation or gender identity.
An estimated 43% of homeless LGBTQ youth are forced from their homes because of conflicts with their families about their sexual orientation or gender identity; 32% have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse at home over their sexual orientation or gender identity (Durso and Gate, 2012).
To help remedy this, AIR supported the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the True Colors Fund on a first-of-its-kind project: The LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative. It identified successful strategies to ensure that no young person is left without a home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. In partnership since 2013, the initiative was implemented in two communities: NEST in Harris County, Texas and Safe and Supported in Hamilton County, Ohio.
AIR led a technical assistance team to inspire high impact collaboration across systems to prevent and quickly remedy youth homelessness. This included plans to improve stable housing, permanency with their families, and well-being for LGBTQ youth. AIR assessed the initiative’s progress and outcomes and developed products to inform similar initiatives in other communities.