1 out of 3 LGBT youth are thrown out of their homes after coming out to their families; and
Homeless youth are more often likely to get arrested for “survival crimes” such as prostitution.
A social worker provided this composite of several youth,
“Before Janelle turned 15, she was suspended from school, thrown out of her house by her parents, ran away from her foster home, and got arrested for shoplifting. The trajectory of this child’s troubled life is becoming more familiar …”
While New Jersey has one of the three group homes in the country for LGBT youth, they are often failed by the court, school, juvenile justice and child welfare systems.
“Mary Inzana, CEO and founder of the 12-bed Triad House, the group home, … called Shane ‘a survivor’ who fared better than most kids. She said homeless gay kids face obstacles others don’t: Some state caseworkers and foster parents, she noted, believe they are called by God to work with troubled kids — and, citing religious reasons, cannot accept children who are not straight.”
‘Many kids in foster families have had to go back into the closet in order to fit in,’ she said. ‘Some of these kids have been bullied and harassed and staff looked the other way.’”