Improving Services for Homeless LGBTQ Youth

Working to Target Policies for this Population

Improving Services for Homeless LGBTQ YouthThe Urban Institute recently published a brief on improving strategies used to count LGBTQ homeless youth. LGBTQ homeless youth are an overrepresented yet underserved subpopulation of the homeless.

Twenty- to 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, while only 4-10% of the overall youth population identify as LGBTQ.

Understanding the prevalence and characteristics of LGBTQ youth will help to develop targeted policies for this vulnerable population. Jurisdictions should consider counting LGBTQ youth during the Annual Point in Time (PIT) Count and/or incorporating questions about sexual identity during the HMIS intake process.

Suggestions for counting LGBTQ youth during the Annual Point in Time Count include:

  • Partnering with agencies serving LGBTQ youth
  • Conducting the PIT count in locations frequented by LGBTQ youth
  • Involving LGBTQ youth in PIT count planning and implementation
  • Showing support through messaging (i.e., rainbow or safe zone stickers)

Suggestions for improving services for LGBTQ youth include:

  • Requiring periodic counts of LGBTQ youth
  • Training agency staff on LGBTQ specific issues
  • Dedicating shelter beds for LGBTQ youth

Click here for the full brief.