Why This Is Important.
There has been only one comprehensive attempt to place numbers on the issue. A study was done in 2008 and has become generally accepted as representative of the homeless youth population in New York City.
Since 2008 the waiting lists at the Ali Forney Center has increased by 40% indicating that there are more homeless youth today than the 2008 study represents. Also, agencies that are keeping statistics, like The Door, report that LGBT youth represent 50 to 53% of their clients. Taken together, this would suggest that there are over 5,320 homeless youth on the streets and 2,819 identify as LGBTQ in 2011.
The leading cause of homelessness for LGBT youth is family rejection.
Family rejection is one of the most terrible expressions of homophobia and transphobia in our times. As LGBT youth come out in greater numbers and at earlier ages, a significant percentage are denied the love and support of their families, forcing many into homelessness and destitution.
It is a sad state of affairs when some leaders in the faith community are preaching hate and exclusion, resulting in parents turning their backs on their own children when they come out to them, making home unbearable or actually throwing them out.
We know there is a larger, loving and inclusive faith based community who don’t want the hateful message to prevail.
These young people have no political leverage, but we do.
People of faith, clergy and lay leaders, we know our government respects us and will listen. It is a moral imperative to rescue these children from a life that can only get worse.Sign the petition to Governor Cuomo about Homeless Youth now!