Coming out as LGBTQ is already difficult, but many youth are finding themselves out on the street because of just that. Over 40% of the population of homeless youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan area are LGBTQ. Many of these cases are the result of parents who ask their child to make the impossible choice between hiding or embracing who they.
Friendship Place provides housing services focused on homeless youth, and places a greater focus on LGBTQ homeless youth.
We have a diverse staff, including members who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, or Queer. We emphasize LGBTQ awareness and competency training for our entire staff. Since its inception, Friendship Place has provided services to the LGBTQ community and has always been supportive of individuals who identify as LGBTQ. The city has a need for LGBTQ youth services; and Friendship Place has the tools, expertise, and commitment to address this critical need.
Our organization is in the process of securing funding that would allow us to further dedicate staff resources towards meeting the vital needs of this group. With only a few providers in the city to address the unique needs of homeless LGBTQ youth, a new program would fill the gaps.
Friendship Place has an established record of success in starting small capacity pilot projects and building them into effective and sustainable programs.
Friendship Place Spring Symposium: Young, LGBTQ & Homeless
In April 2017, we hosted a symposium about the local and national challenges of homelessness among LGBTQ youth and how organizations like Friendship Place are helping. “Young, LGBTQ & Homeless” included Ray Suarez, former host of Al Jazeera America’s Inside Story and the following panelists:
- Timothy V. Kane, MDiv, MTh, Associate Director of Inclusion Initiatives, Multicultural Student Services Center, George Washington University
- Leandrea D. Gilliam, Program Analyst & Housing Specialist, Executive Office of the Mayor
- Sean Read, Director of the Welcome Center, Friendship Place
- Diego Miguel Sanchez, APR, Director of Policy, PFLAG
- Kahlib Barton, Vice Chair, Young Black Gay Mens’ Leadership Initiative, and Member, National Youth Forum on Homelessness