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Supporting Safer Housing Options
     

Issue: There is a disproportionally higher percentage of homeless LGBT youth, and shelter and foster care systems often exclude them or perpetuate violence and stigma against them. The housing crisis and increasing stress on families means more LGBT young people are likely to be seeking shelter in our public system. We must encourage the President to ensure that existing programs are inclusive of LGBT young people’s needs.

Administrative Recommendations:

Ensure inclusivity of programs and services. Provide inclusive and welcoming social services and safer housing options for runaway and homeless LGBT young people.

Support culturally competent workforce training.Support specific trainings and mandate such programs for service providers of federally funded programs working with LGBT youth and adults along with family reunification programs.

Improve survey sampling of homeless youth. Develop survey methodologies that measure the universe of homeless youth – including LGBT youth - and assess their specific needs.

Evaluate the efficacy of LGBT housing models. Research the efficacy of various housing models and programs aimed at reducing the rate of LGBT homeless and runaway youth (such as the Ali Forney Center, the Attic, Green Chimneys, Sylvia’s Place, etc) to determine best practices in developing a more comprehensive long-term strategy.

Create inclusive long-term homeless youth strategy. Create a long-term strategy for responding to the needs of homeless youth – inclusive of LGBT young people - through improved coordination and collaboration between federal and state and community-based programs that serve runaway and homeless youth.

What you Can Do to Help:

If you are concerned about this priority, you can help influence the administration by sending a letter to the following offices:

Attn: President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Website:www.whitehouse.gov

Phone: 202-456-1414

Attn: Secretary Kathleen Siebelius

US Dept. of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20201

Website:www.dhhs.gov

Phone: 202-690-7000

Attn: Secretary Shaun Donovan

US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

451 7th Street, SW

Washington, DC 20410

Website: www.hud.gov

Phone: 202-708-1422