April 24th, 2019, is True Colors Day to bring visibility and awareness to the issue of LGBTQ Youth Homelessness.
Tennessee Opportunities for Improvement
In general, LGBTQ youth are much more likely to become homeless or experience homelessness than their peers to a staggering degree. From the True Colors United website:
“According to a recent study from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, LGBTQ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth. Right off the bat, these young people are presented with an uneven playing field. True Colors United is working to level that field so that LGBTQ youth are no more likely to experience homelessness than anyone else. We’ve seen this higher risk reflected in our own research. It’s estimated that about 7% of youth in the United States are LGBTQ, while 40% of youth experiencing homelessness are LGBTQ.”
In addition, it has been shown that 40% of homeless youth polled identified as LGBTQ, as opposed to 7% of the youth population at large. This means that LGBTQ youth are disproportionately susceptible to becoming homeless than their peers by a wide margin.
How are we combating this issue on a local level?
OUTMemphis, with the support of many different local and non-local organizations, has launched a campaign to combat this issue. This campaign, known as Metamorphosis Project, is a collection of wraparound services including meals and food services, rental assistance, case management, life skills classes, a Donation Center, transportation assistance, and peer-led social support groups. The capstone of this project, however, is our upcoming Youth Emergency Center. OUTMemphis broke ground on this center this previous March, and we anticipate it being finished in 2020.
This center will act as a drop in center for youth, will host a variety of services such as laundry, computers, and a kitchen, and will house up to four youth for as long as 30 days at a time. This is a response to the need for emergency housing in the interim period between finding a stable home and being kicked out.
How can you help?
If you would like to contribute to the work that OUTMemphis is doing to combat LGBTQ youth homelessness, you can visit our donor page here to make a contribution. Every donation, whether big or small, helps to further the causes that OUTMemphis works for everyday.
If you would like more information on Metamorphosis Project, or any of the services that OUTMemphis offers, feel free to email us.
If you’d like more information on True Colors Day, visit their website.