Time to do something!
The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has decided to slash funding for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) runaway and homeless youth shelters in a move that spells disaster for already struggling community-based shelters. Urgent attention to this situation is needed locally, nationally and internationally. We call on the DYCD and the City Council to reverse their recent decisions, and offer adequate funding to these shelters as a human rights and youth welfare priority.
A surprisingly large percent (The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that at least 20% of homeless youth are LGBTQ) homeless youth are sexual minorities. They are kicked out of their homes for their sexual orientation and, as I posted previously often have trouble finding friendly foster homes. By and large, LGBTQ youth do not have safe experiences in regular shelters. LGBTQ youth shelters are essential to the health of those youth who would otherwise live on the streets. Sign the petition here.
If you’d like some first hand accounts of what it is like to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and be homeless, or living in a group home, read the stories of four queer Connecticut youth and their experiences living in group homes or shelters at The Fairfield Weekly.
Jill Hardman and Chloe Michelle Noble are embarking next month on what sounds like an amazing 6000 mile journey to raise awareness about homeless youth. They’ll be homeless the entire time to connect with homeless youth. Read their incredibly moving posts about their preparations and thoughts on the journey and virtually “walk” with them through Twitter, Googlemaps. I’m sure they’ll very much appreciate any supportive words you have!