A new report shows that nearly 8,400 LGBT youth may be homeless this winter, according to statistics cited in the study by the National Runaway Switchboard and released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 42 percent of the 15,000 to 20,000 homeless youth estimated to live in New York City are LGBT. In comparison, approximately 3 to 5 percent of the U.S. population identifies as gay or lesbian, according to the study's press release.
The report cited three key findings. The first was that youth homeless is primarily caused by family conflict, often over sexual orientation or gender identity. The second was a report of harassment, discrimination and violence by employees at shelters. The final key finding was that homeless LGBT youth are more vulnerable to sexual abuse, substance abuse and mental health struggles.
If these statistics held up nationally, that would mean that nearly half a million LGBT youth are homeless each year. If there was ever a need for assistance, this is it. Since their parents are clearly letting them down, it's up to gay adults to provide the care and assistance. [via Gay.com]