In the United States, nearly 1.7 million youth under the age of 18 run away from home and often end up homeless each year. Reports estimate that between 20% and 40% of the runaway and homeless youth population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) (Durso & Gates, 2012 Durso, L. E., & Gates, G. J. (2012). Serving our youth: Findings from a national survey of service providers working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Retrieved from https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Durso-Gates-LGBT-Homeless-Youth-Survey-July-2012.pdf [Google Scholar]; Kaiser Family Foundation, 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation. (2014). Health and access to care and coverage for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in the U.S. Retrieved from http://files.kff.org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Health-and-Access-to-Care-and-Coverage-for-LGBT-Individuals-in-the-US [Google Scholar]). This suggests that as many as 80,000 LGBT youth are homeless for over a week each year (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2012 National Alliance to End Homelessness. (2012). LGBTQ youth national policy statement. Retrieved from http://www.endhomelessness.org/page/-/files/4552_file_LGBTQ_Youth_National_Policy_Statement_April_2012_Final.pdf [Google Scholar]). In addition, LGBT youth are more likely to suffer from poverty, substance abuse, violence, mental illness, and attempted suicide as a result of harassment and discrimination (Cray, Miller, & Durso, 2013 Cray, A., Miller, K., & Durso, L. (2013). Seeking shelter: The experiences and unmet needs of LGBT homeless youth. Retrieved from https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/LGBTHomelessYouth.pdf [Google Scholar]; Kaiser Family Foundation, 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation. (2014). Health and access to care and coverage for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in the U.S. Retrieved from http://files.kff.org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Health-and-Access-to-Care-and-Coverage-for-LGBT-Individuals-in-the-US [Google Scholar]; Swan, 2014 Swan, W. (2014). Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights: A public policy agenda for uniting a divided America. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. doi:10.1201/b17485[Crossref] , [Google Scholar]). Grounded in social equity theory (Frederickson, 2010 Frederickson, H. G. (2010). Social equity and public administration: Origins, developments and applications. New York, NY: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315700748[Crossref] , [Google Scholar]) and intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991 Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43(6), 1241–1299. doi:10.2307/1229039[Crossref] , [Google Scholar]), this article argues that additional legal protections are necessary in order to ensure the constitutional rights of LGBT youth. A case study of the Youth Empowered Society (YES) in Baltimore City is provided as an example of a service-delivery model for this vulnerable population. Best practices are identified and anti-discrimination policies are recommended.
File Type: 1333943
Categories: Case Studies, Current Issues, Ethics, Practitioner & Policy Ex., Social Equity