Llamau Launches Campaign to End LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness
Research released by End Youth Homelessness Cymru shows that LGBTQ+ young people are four times more likely than their peers to become homeless.
The report, Out On The Streets, provides a powerful insight into the often horrifying experiences of young LGBTQ+ people who have been homeless, highlighting incidents of survival sex, rough sleeping, abuse and discrimination.
Off the back of the research, Llamau has launched a campaign calling on everyone in Wales to play their part in ending LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. They are asking everyone in Wales to sign a petition to show that Wales is a country which will no longer tolerate young people becoming homeless simply because they are LGBTQ+.
Young people supported by Llamau were involved in the research, both as peer researchers and as participants.
One young person described using a social dating site to ensure he had a roof over his head, saying:
"I have used Grindr lots. I used to start going on it when I was 14, I would go out to meet someone anyway but if they offered the opportunity to stay over I would definitely. If it was a night away from my parents then I would....Since I've been 14 I've used it to stay over guys' houses or since I've been homeless I've used it to get a meal."
Despite young LGBTQ+ people being at a higher risk of harm, sexual abuse and becoming homeless, the research showed that they're also underserved by the support services designed to respond to their specific needs.
Out On The Streets calls on Welsh Government, local authorities and third sector providers to recognise the importance of ending LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and makes a series of recommendations on how to end it.
Sharing her thoughts on the report Llamau Chief Executive and Chair of End Youth Homelessness Cymru, Frances Beecher said:
"I am proud that End Youth Homelessness Cymru and young people supported by Llamau have produced this report. Whilst I am proud, I am also very sad and angry that in 2019, it is still necessary to launch reports such as this. Ultimately ending LGBTQ+ youth homelessness is everyone's responsibility and we all need to play our part."