Transgender Population Vulnerable to Homelessness

National Center Shares Statistics and Policy Solutions

Transgender Population Vulnerable to Homelessness
Monarch has seen a trend in news stories and informational materials focused on the particular issues faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) homeless and runaway youth. As another resource, the National Center for Transgender Equality focuses on homelessness on its webpage.

The Center reports that:

  1. Homelessness is also a critical issue for transgender people, with one in five transgendered people have experienced homelessness at some time in their lives because of discrimination and family rejection;
  2. An estimated 20-40% of the more than 1.6 million homeless youth in the United States are LGBT3;
  3. Transgender people facing homelessness also face discrimination from agencies that should be helping them, with nearly one in three (29%) reporting being turned away from a shelter due to their transgender status; and
  4. 42% of trans people facing homelessness have been forced to stay in a shelter living as the wrong gender.

What can be done to help this vulnerable population? While progress with Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is being made, there is more that needs to be done and the Center recommends the following policy steps:

  • Congress should fully fund implementation of Opening Doors, the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, including expanding the nation’s supply of affordable housing;
  • HUD should issue final rules explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in HUD-funded housing programs and requiring shelters to house homeless individuals in a manner consistent with their gender identity;
  • HUD and Health and Human Services (HHS) should implement a unified homeless data collection system that includes data on gender identity and sexual orientation;
  • HUD and HHS should publish and promote best practices for supporting homeless transgender youth; and
  • Congress should appropriate funds to conduct the Prevalence and Incidence Study of runaway and homeless youth mandated by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act of 2008.

The Center is dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment.

Click here to view the Center’s Housing and Homelessness page which also includes data and recommendations related to affordable housing.

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