Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Transgender Homeless Youth

You’ve heard the buzz about Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner transitioning to a woman. Well Jenner should take this opportunity to help our transgender youth. The Center for American Progress released a report that transgender youth homelessness in America is at epidemic levels. At least 1 in 5 transgender young people have experienced homelessness & many of them have encountered discrimination, harassment & abuse in shelters & other services meant to serve as safe spaces when there is nowhere else to go. Hannah Hussey, Research Associate for LGBT Progress at CAP & author of the report stated, “Transgender young people who are homeless face significant challenges to their health, safety & well-being & these disparities often begin before they leave home. In order for these young people to reach their full potential, we need a comprehensive approach that provides equal & adequate access to services & that addresses the systemic problems of poverty, violence & discrimination that cause housing instability in the first place.” To begin with the report recommends: 1) Provide the resources needed for homeless & at-risk transgender youth to stabilize their lives, including shelters & transitional living programs, skill-building opportunities, health promotion programs & family intervention services. 2) Implement strong nondiscrimination policies & eliminate barriers to services in shelters, health care, vital records & law enforcement. 3) Address the root causes of homelessness through changes to the interlocking systems that hold transgender youth back from reaching their full potential, including housing, employment, education, public accommodations, juvenile justice & foster care. Expand data-collection efforts to include gender identity in respectful & confidential ways.
Read Full Report:americanprogress.org
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