Faith Based Approaches to
Preventing and Addressing LGBTQ Youth Homelessness
The numbers of youth experiencing homelessness can only be estimated, but we do know for certain that LGB youth, transgender youth especially, are much more likely to experience homelessness than their peers.
These are youth whose very survival depend on being hidden, often in plain sight. One youth slept in a tree, in an urban area, next to a busy hotel. Others find empty building to squat in, or sleep under bridges. Some sleep hidden in parks. You may see their tents. You probably won't.
Click to view an excerpt from Parity's FaithForward series:
Addressing Youth Homelessness Part 1: Quick Tips & Easy Projects
Faith Based Approaches for Addressing Youth Homelessness
Often the best place to start is education. Many people truly believe that youth homelessness doesn't exist - and surely doesn't exist in their community. In one state, legislators were sure there were no homeless youth at all, and were laws preventing homeless shelters for youth - but then we counted, and found 5,000. The laws changed.
The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” holds particularly true when it comes to youth homelessness. Knowing the trauma youth experience on the street, knowing that “Loss is the law on the street,” it is critical that we do as much as we can to prevent youth homelessness. Even so, there will always be youth who experience housing instability and homelessness. And these youth are in need - not only in need of food, shelter from weather, and clothing - but in desperate need of a safe space where they can let their guard down, an adult they can trust, and a community that accepts and celebrates them as they are. Read more...
Faith based approaches to prevent LGBTQ youth homelessness
Youth homelessness happens for many reasons, often poverty and family disruption are primary factors. LGBTQ youth homelessness often happens because parents kick their kids out. Best estimates are that 42% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as as queer or LGBT, and 50% of those youth were kicked out by religious parents or families.
Some parents think that their religious leaders would want them to kick their kids out of the family home for being - or even appearing to be - LGBTQ. Some religious leaders DO tell parents to kick their kids out. What would your faith leader say?
A culture of acceptance
Imagine that you are a queer or LGBT person - how would you know if you were welcome at your church or place of worship? Now imagine yourself a queer youth. What would THAT be like?
Coming soon, the next volume in Parity's FaithForward series, Faith-based Approaches to Addressing and Preventing LGBTQ Youth Homelessness.