Homeless Gay Youth an Epidemic: Report

NewYorkBlade.com – By Kerry Eleveld

City Council allocates funds to improve services

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for the Homeless released a report last week that found that up to 42 percent of the nation?s homeless youth identify as lesbian or gay. That means, of New York City?s estimated 15,000 to 30,000 homeless youth population, about 6,300 to 12,600 are LGBT.

?The numbers are staggering, but remember that every one of those 30,000 is a child; every one of them has a story,? said Councilmember Lew Fidler at a joint press conference with The Task Force, LGBT homeless youth advocates and shelter providers. ?To truly make a dent in this problem, you?re going to have to see the faces,? Fidler said, as he invited members of the press to join councilmembers on a tour they were scheduled to take of the homeless youth facilities.

The problem of youth homelessness has reached epidemic proportions given that there are about 187 city-funded beds overall to house homeless young people; as few as 60 beds are available for LGBT youths, and many of those are not city-funded.