Our nation's capital possesses a strong and vibrant LGBT community, which has come together time and time again to work for our rights and well-being.
However, some of the most vulnerable members of our community face violence, sexual assault, and harrassment in our own shelters every day because of who they are.
A study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force showed that up to 40% of homeless teenagers nationwide are LGBT, and the District of Columbia is failing to protect them.
There are currently only eight beds in the District that are meant for LGBT young people, at the Wanda Alston House, which has a wait-list of 20 homeless youth.
“For us to have one house with eight beds is putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound,” said director Brian Watson in a recent Metro Weekly article. “We tell them you can be independent and to accept who you are, and there is that chance their parents may put them out. We're not providing a lot of places for LGBT youth to go.”
The District itself provides no LGBT-specific beds, and LGBT teens in District shelters suffer from abuse and harassment. Many young people choose to sleep on the street rather than face a night in a shelter.
Join us in asking the District of Columbia to provide 20 beds that are safe for LGBT teens.