Last week, the second major installment of the Voices of Youth Count study was released by Chapin Hall. Voices of Youth Count (VoYC) is an academic, peer-reviewed study that the Campion Foundation is proud to fund along with a number of our charitable partners.
As we’ve noted in the past, one of the long-standing problems with fighting youth homelessness is the lack of reliable data about the scale of the problem. The initial release from Chapin Hall contained enormously helpful information about the nationwide scope of youth homelessness – and this new release narrows down the data to look at how LGBTQ youth and young adults are impacted.
The findings prove what many of you have noticed anecdotally in the field: that LGBTQ youth are disproportionately at greater risk of homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth.
Specific key findings from the study include:
- LGBTQ youth are at more than double the risk of homelessness compared to non-LGBTQ peers.
- LGBTQ youth had over twice the rate of early death among youth experiencing homelessness.
- Youth who identified as both LGBTQ and black or multiracial had some of the highest rates of homelessness.
- Transgender youth often face unique and more severe types of discrimination and trauma.
Chapin Hall also identifies a number of policy recommendations to address these findings, including:
- Support and provide incentives for community organizations and systems to institute more sensitive data collection about sexual orientation and gender identity, facilitate positive adult connections in LGBTQ youths’ lives, offer enhanced training on issues facing LGBTQ youth, and, most importantly, engage LGBTQ youth as full partners in strengthening systems and services.
- Equitably locate LGBTQ-sensitive outreach, services, and housing options in or near predominantly black and multiracial communities.
- Especially where family engagement can lead to strengthening and support, develop and use therapeutic approaches for LGBTQ youth and their families. Ensure that interventions address trauma, stigma, and discrimination.
- Increase the competencies and training access for Medicaid health and behavioral health providers about the added challenges that LGBTQ youth face, including specific professional development for serving transgender youth.
To read the full findings and recommendations, visit the Voices of Youth Count website.