August 4, 2020

Adults Who are LGBTQ and Access Homelessness Services

Jama Shelton; Jeffrey M. Poirier; Coco Wheeler; Alex Abramovich

Youth and young adults (YYA) who are LGBTQ are over represented in the population of youth experiencing homelessness. Youth homelessness service providers need to be able to identify and refer YYA who are LGBTQ to appropriate and competent supportive services that will address their unique needs, ensure that transgender and gender expansive YYA are referred to using accurate names and pronouns, and collect data that can provide a better understanding of the prevalence of homelessness among YYA who are LGBTQ.

Enabling YYA to identify sexual orientation, gender identity, and pronouns when seeking homelessness services is one recommended practice for working with YYA who are LGBTQ. This study aimed to better understand the experience of being asked sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI) and pronoun questions when accessing YYA housing supports and services, and to center the voices of YYA who are LGBTQ in the conversation regarding SOGI and pronoun questions. While the vast majority of respondents supported asking YYA about their pronouns, they had mixed views about whether or not sexual orientation and gender identity should be asked when YYA access homelessness services.

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