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+ Community Solutions to LGBTQI Youth Homelessness Ilana Vera Morris Seattle’s “We Are Family” Project, The Evans School of Public Affairs & The UW School.

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Presentation on theme: "+ Community Solutions to LGBTQI Youth Homelessness Ilana Vera Morris Seattle’s “We Are Family” Project, The Evans School of Public Affairs & The UW School."— Presentation transcript:

1 + Community Solutions to LGBTQI Youth Homelessness Ilana Vera Morris Seattle’s “We Are Family” Project, The Evans School of Public Affairs & The UW School of Social Work. Sponsor: Seattle Street Youth Empowerment Project Solidarity“Family” Community Ownership Youth Empowerment

2 Take-Aways: Problem: Disproportional & Dangerous Traditional Programs are not sufficient for LGBTQI youth GLBT Host Home Program: Evaluation proves this model to be effective Seattle: Adopting this approach here

3 Problem: Disproportional About 50,000 youth in the U.S. sleep on the street for six months or more. 20% of which are LGBTQI-identified, compared to 10% of the broader youth population (that’s 10,000 queer youth currently experiencing homelessness for six-months or more). 25% of former foster youth nationwide become homeless upon emancipation.

4 Problem: Dangerous Primary cause of youth homelessness is family conflict. Queer youth disproportionally at-risk:  97% report hearing homophobic remarks regularly  84.5% report teachers “never” or “rarely” intervene  Twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before age 12  Entering street-life, queer youth are at greater risk of  mental health problems  7.4 times more likely to experience sexual victimization  62% suicide rate (29% for straight counterparts)  Shelter violence: peers, policies & unequipped staff. Conclusion: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth are not being served by “traditional” youth shelters/programs.

5 The GLBT Host Home Program Theory of Change Problem/ Basic Assumptions Program Activities Initial Outcomes Long-Term Outcomes

6 Minneapolis GLBT Host Home Program Evaluation Minneapolis GLBT Host Home Program Evaluation Design Primary Evaluation Questions: Summative: Does the GLBT Host Home program effectively address the unique problems facing LGBTQI youth experiencing homelessness? Formative: How can the GLBT Host Home program better serve the unique needs of LGBTQI youth living without stable housing?

7 Data Collection Instruments: Group interview of host-youth partnerships Focus groups program participants 1-on-1 interviews of program staff youth, advisory board members, & hosts In-person + online surveys of program participants Attendance/observations of hosts training Review of preexisting program data and materials Minneapolis GLBT Host Home Program Evaluation Minneapolis GLBT Host Home Program Evaluation Design

8 Centering LGBTQI Youth & Community Empowerment: Key stakeholders: youth, hosts, council, staff, community, agency. Utilization of a Key Insider: Program manager, Rocki Simões. Benefit to the Local Community Transparency & Personal Investment Minneapolis GLBT Host Home Program Evaluation Minneapolis GLBT Host Home Program Evaluation Design

9 Majority of youth transition into stable housing following their host home stay. Youth obtain greater access to resources linked with successful outcomes. All participants reported improved relationships and connection to a thriving queer community. Achieved by utilizing the already strong networks/resources of volunteer hosts and private funders. Minneapolis GLBT Host Home Program Evaluation Minneapolis GLBT Host Home Program Evaluation Summative Findings: Evidence of Program Effectiveness

10 Seattle’s “We Are Family” Project: Justification for an LGBTQI HHP in our city! Data from the Seattle Police Department & Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness’ 2011 One Night Count: 500-2,000 homeless youth living on the streets of Seattle on any given night. Approximately 50% of these youth are LGBT teens, which is more than double the estimated national proportion (20%). Number of unsheltered & unaccompanied minors has nearly doubled since Seattle has become a hotbed for displaced youth all over the Pacific Northwest.

11 Seattle’s “We Are Family” Project: Today and Tomorrow! WAF is building its capacity through… Local volunteer organizers LGBTQ+ community solidarity Forming an Interim Advisory Council a community-driven response to queer youth homelessness in Seattle. WAF Needs a Host Organization!

12 Implications for Public PolicyImplications for Public Policy Youth homelessness is rising and becoming increasingly queer. Public cuts to social services and prevention programming Foster care to homelessness pipeline: race, class, age, sexuality & gender “Traditional” programs cannot address unique needs of queer youth. The GLBT Host Home Program is an effective approach to addressing the increased trend of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness in the U.S. Personal responsibility/investment happens in communities (not through politicians). Community solidarity offers a longer-term solution than charity, therefore, we must invest in community-owned work.

13 Acknowledgements The privilege it is to be in the position of investigator. I would also like to thank: The GLBT Host Home Program participants Raquel (Rocki) Simões T he entire MN GLBT Host Home Program Community Jaison Briar Dylan Colt Jack Finley Crystal Hall Jennifer Brower Jen Self Rachel Kleit And you!


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