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LGBTQ Homelessness

Up to 40% of Seattle’s homeless youth are LGBTQ

The King County Committee to End Homelessness estimates that between 5,000 and 10,000 youth and young adults experience homelessness each year in King County. On May 16, 2012, Count Us In volunteers counted 685 unstably housed and homeless youth and young adults, ages 13-25, more than in previous counts. It is estimated that 1,000 youth and young adults are homeless on any given night in King County.

The two principle causes of youth homelessness are 1)a breakdown in family relationships and 2) inadequate interventions from systems that are charged with protecting, nurturing, and supervising youth when their families cannot.  The primary reason youth consistently state for their homelessness is family conflict.  The second leading cause of youth homelessness links to the high proportion of homeless youth who have been in foster care.

According to “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey” “One-fifth (19%) reported experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives because they were transgender or gender nonconforming.”

Resource:  Transitioning our Shelters (A Guide for Making Homeless Shelters Trans-Sensitive compiled by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and the National Coalition for the Homeless).

Join ERW’s Homelessness Action Planning Committee

In reaction to the increasing numbers of homeless LGBTQ individuals facing limited resources, Equal Rights Washington Education Fund has formed a task force for the purpose of training volunteers to work in homeless shelters and resource centers in the Seattle area, and to partner with statewide homeless organizations to advocate for cultural sensitivity in working with LGBTQ individuals trying to get off the streets.
For more information about the ERW Homelessness Action Planning Committee email