“Not under my roof.”
Too often, these words are the gateway to homelessness for a young person. On any given night in West Michigan, approximately 200 young people won’t know where they are going to sleep. The journeys that bring youth to the street are complex, deeply personal, and traumatic.
One common experience among homeless youth is identifying as LGBTQ, coming out (or worse, being outed) to family and friends, and being kicked out as a result.
A significant issue of youth and young adult homelessness is the overrepresentation of LGBTQ homeless youth. While composing only 10% of all youth in the U.S., LGBTQ youth comprise up to 40% of all Runaway and Homeless Youth. This number is largely disproportionate. The issue of homelessness among LGBTQ youth is one that can’t be denied and must not be ignored.
Arbor Circle partnered with a group of concerned community members to begin to look deeper into the issues of LGBTQ homeless young people in West Michigan, and to find better ways to address their needs. While our community has a long way to go, Arbor Circle has worked with this group and others to compile local data.
To view our findings, please view the Safe Impact Report.