December 15, 2007

Homelessness A Major Problem for GLBT Youth in New York City

Youth who are struggling to understand their sexuality face a great challenge in our society, which becomes much more daunting if they don't have a roof over their heads and a bed to call their own.

In this report posted by PageOneQ, over 1/3 of homeless youth in New York City are GLBT--a grossly disproportionate number to their representation in the overall population. Especially as the holidays approach, if you are considering giving some of your time and/or money to a good cause, considering a group that assists these kids could be a good direction to go.

An estimated 3,800 people under age 24 go homeless each night in New York
City, but they blend in so well they are hard for social workers to find,
according to the city's first-ever census of homeless youth.

Three-fourths come from minority groups, with black youths accounting for
nearly half the total and Latino youths representing a quarter, said the survey,
released Friday.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual youths were especially vulnerable,
accounting for nearly a third of homeless cases.

"Young people who are homeless take great care to look like everyone
else. They're unbelievably creative in their ability to find ways to make it
look like they're not homeless at all," said Margo Hirsch, executive director of
the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, which conducted the
survey for the city.

While many homeless youth found temporary shelter with a friend or a
relative, some 1,600 reported spending nights on the street, in an abandoned
building or in a bus or train.

Selling sex, another 150 spent nights with a clients.

The count was conducted in July and surveyed just under 1,000 youth who
were either homeless or at risk for homelessness.

Earlier this year, the New York City Department of Homeless Services
reported that 3,755 New Yorkers of all ages, out of a total population of 8.2
million people, were living without shelter on any given night, down from 4,395
in 2005.

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