Each year, a staggering 1.7 million young people call the streets home -- 40% identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ).
Homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%). Every year, approximately 5,000 homeless young people will die because of assault, illness, or suicide while on the street. Their lives on the street may involve substance use, crime, panhandling and survival sex. They are disproportionately vulnerable to HIV infection.
They often leave home in the first place to escape physical or sexual abuse. But if a young person identifies as LGBTQ, they’re at far greater risk of becoming homeless, rejected by their families or foster homes and thrown out onto the streets where they are forced to survive on their own. Young people whose parents engage in substance abuse or have mental health problems, who suffered child abuse of neglect in their home, or whose family has been homeless previously are also at higher risk for becoming homeless.
But it doesn't have to be this way. With the help of people like you, we can make it better for homeless youth by giving them:
-- emergency and crisis housing (and hot meals, showers, or clothing);
-- medical and psychiatric care including individual and group counseling;
-- someone to serve as their advocate and case manager;
-- And, an urgently needed second chance for a safer, better future off the streets.
Every year, Safe Horizon makes 19,000 contacts with young people living on the streets of New York City, distributes more than 45,000 meals and offers a lifeline to thousands of homeless and street-involved youth. And, 55% of the homeless youth who come to Safe Horizon identify as LGBTQ.
Take action and pledge to support live-saving work by organizations like Safe Horizon -- and help homeless LGBTQ youth escape a life on the streets.