Cleveland LGBT Center Reached Out to Homeless LGBT Youth

From, Cleveland's LGBT Community Center is partnering with Cuyahoga County to determine how many homeless LGBT youth there are between the ages of 14 and 24. 

The study is the first major look at gay homelessness in more than a decade, when one study suggested that almost a third of the homeless in big cities were gay, lesbian or transgendered.

Earlier studies have shown that while some gay youths are thrown out of their homes by parents who reject them because of their sexuality other are on the streets because of abuse, drugs or mental illness.

This is a good sign from the County that they want to reach out to help this particular group.  However, my own limited experiences with homelessness tells me that it is ESSENTIAL for this project to have the buy-in of Cleveland's homeless advocates. 

These kids aren't going to open up just because the person reaching out is gay.  They may have already built some trust with the homeless advocates and that's the best avenue to explore IMHO. 

It is heartening, however, to see a determined social service project emanating from the LGBT Center.  Too often, working class and lower income gays are left out of the loop of services because they simply don't have the time or income to participate in the activities.  Nor the freedom to be out. 




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