Concerns in Working with this Population Resources and Difficulties
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) runaway and homeless youth services were studied in a report published by Mathematica and co-authored by the Williams Institute.
Challenges in the effort to improve services for these youth include:
Lack of local resources that focus on LGBTQ youth;
Difficulty overcoming social stigma, especially toward LGBTQ youth of color and transgender or gender-nonconforming youth; and
Staff concerns about singling out a specific population of runaway and homeless youth, while continuing to help all youth who need an agency’s services.
Staff generally felt that homeless youth face similar types of risks, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Nevertheless, some types of risks—emotional distress and poor mental health, substance abuse and sexual risk behavior, and problems with family and personal relationships—were perceived to be particularly salient or frequent among LGBTQ youth.