This page is part of resource package created to help programs better serve youth who are LGBTQI2-S and homeless. It was derived from the results of a Listening Tour of programs serving this population. Visit the Listening Tour Page for more information, or read the draft report: Learning from the Field: Programs Serving LGBTQI2-S Youth Experiencing Homelessness.
In February 2010, SAMHSA’s Homelessness Resource Center (HRC) convened an Expert Panel of diverse consumers, service providers, researchers, advocates, and policy makers to better understand the needs of youth experiencing homelessness and identifying as LGBTQI2-S. The panel members recommended a Listening Tour to visit programs with effective strategies for serving sexual and gender minority youth. A full summary of proceedings from the Expert Panel can be found on the HRC website. Expert Panel members recommended programs based on geographic diversity and programmatic focus.
Youth on Fire, Larkin Street Youth Services, Outside In, The Ruth Ellis Center, UCAN Host Home Program, and The Drop-In Center at Tulane shared lessons learned about serving the LGBTQI2-S youth population. Their challenges, experiences, and responses highlight common strategies for care.
Youth on Fire
Primary Services Offered: Drop-in center, street outreach
The Youth On Fire drop-in center provides a welcoming and non-judgmental environment for homeless and street-involved youth. They provide three tiers of services, following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and positive youth development models. Youth on Fire integrates GLBT supports, such as safe space strategies and GLBT community events, with broader youth services. Youth on Fire is a program of AIDS Action Committee, a Massachusetts-based program working to improve the lives of everyone impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Ayala Livny, Program Manager
17 Sellers Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Larkin Street Youth Services
San Francisco, CA
Primary Services Offered: Full continuum of services, including outreach, a drop-in center, emergency housing, medical care, transitional housing, education and services, permanent supportive housing, and case management.
Larkin Street Youth Services started as a small drop in center in response to a call from the community to meet the needs of youth arriving in San Francisco everyday. Now, twenty-six years later, it provides a full spectrum of services to help youth move beyond life on the street. These services include emergency shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing; education, technology and employment training; healthcare, including mental health, substance abuse and HIV services; and case management.
Toby Eastman, Chief of Programs
701 Sutter Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94109
Primary Services Offered: Transitional housing, education and employment support, counseling, on-site medical care, street outreach
The mission of Outside In is to help homeless youth and other marginalized people move toward improved health and self-sufficiency. Under that mission, Outside In provides a full range of services to provide youth with a home as they move toward independent living. Approximately 80% of youth who go through the transitional housing program never return to the streets.
Angela Hurley, Clinic Manager
1132 SW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
Ruth Ellis Center
Primary Services Offered: Drop-in center, street outreach, residential housing
When fifteen volunteers from a youth LGBTQ community center in Detroit, MI saw how many young people were being kicked out of their homes, they knew something had to be done. They started The Ruth Ellis Center, providing short-term and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth. This mission is predicated on the belief that LGBTQ youth need helpers and advocates who understand their needs to find pathways to safety and independence.
Laura A. Hughes, MPH, Executive Director
77 Victor Street
Highland Park, MI 48203
UCAN Host Home Program
Primary Services Offered: Host Home (for youth ages 18-24) for one year duration, including clinical case management, job readiness, and counseling
The Host Home Program is a housing model that provides LGBTQ homeless youth an alternative to the shelter system. Volunteers temporarily open their home to provide the stability necessary for a young person to work toward their goal of self-sufficiency. The Host Home Program is administered through UCAN, an agency who has served youth for over a century. They provide a variety of programs aimed at healing trauma, educating youth and families, and preventing violence.
Bonnie Wade, AM, Associate Director
1340 S. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608
Drop-In Center at Tulane University
New Orleans, LA
Primary Services Offered: Drop-In Center and Health Clinic
Located on the fringes of the French Quarter, the Drop-In Center seeks to improve the quality of life of runaway and homeless youth. This is accomplished by broadening the network of primary healthcare, substance abuse, mental health, case management and outreach services. The Drop-In Center is affiliated with Tulane University, within the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent Medicine, which is a part of the Tulane Health Sciences Center.
Edward Bonin, FNP, Director
611 N. Rampart St.
New Orleans, LA 70112
For a list of other programs serving youth who are LGBTQI2-S and experiencing homelessness, visit the Programs Serving LGBTQI2-S Youth page.
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