Join Prism Book Alliance® as Jeff Adams goes Outside the Margins today.
Here’s a statistic that may shock you: Approximately 40% of youth who are homelessness identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, while about 7% of the general youth population does the same. The discrepancy is outrageous.
Today, April 27, 2016, is #40toNoneDay, a national day focused on raising awareness about LGBT youth homelessness. While identity-based family rejection (as in, “get out of my house”) is the most commonly cited reason, there are many factors that contribute to LGBTQ youth homelessness. The goal is to ultimately reduce the disproportionate percentage from 40% to none. And, in order to do that, people need to know that this issue exists and that everyone has a part to play in ending it.
#40toNoneDay was created by The True Colors Fund, an organization co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, to bring everyone together who cares about ending LGBT youth homelessness. You don’t have to work or volunteer for the local homeless shelter because you may already interact with these youth on a regular basis without even knowing it. You see, these young people go to school, hang out in coffee shops and libraries, ride public transportation. They live life just like the rest of us. They just don’t get to go home.
While living in New York City, I volunteered with two different organizations that work with youth. I worked during a school year in the college counseling office of The Door, an organization that seeks to empower young people to reach their potential by providing youth development services. I worked with a number of “at-risk” young people over eight months helping them research colleges, prepare financial aid forms, and understand how to talk to their parents about getting ready to go to college (in many cases these young people were going to be the first in their family to do so). Sometimes they might not talk about any of that and I’d simply listen to what they needed to say and possibly refer them to other services within The Door.
A couple years later I was a life coach in the transitional housing program at the Ali Forney Center, which has a mission to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. Weekly life coaches would visit with young people living in the housing program with the overall goal of being adult role models. We’d have dinner with them, talk with them about whatever was going on. It was mostly about being there. Each of them had to be in school full time and, ideally, working as well. The program was designed to set them up to be adult who wouldn’t be homeless. It was amazing when the young people graduated the program and heartbreaking when they couldn’t keep up the requirements (for whatever reason) to stay in it.
Working in this program was inspirational, emotional and one of the best things I’ve ever done while also being difficult. It’s staggering to find out how many homeless youth there are in a city the size of NYC and how many of those are LGBTQ.
I implore you to do whatever you can to help eradicate LGBTQ youth homelessness, and youth homelessness in general. Young people simply shouldn’t be on the streets. You can use Google to see what resources are available in your area, or you can consult The True Colors Fund to get information about resources on a national and local level along with ideas on how you can help.
About Jeff AdamsJeff Adams is the author of the Hat Trick series of young adult/new adult stories. He’s also the author of several m/m romance shorts. Jeff and his husband, Will, live in the rural peace of Northern California. Besides writing about hockey in many of his stories, he covers the Detroit Red Wings, and reviews books that feature gay hockey players, for PuckBuddys.com (http://www.PuckBuddys.com). You can learn all about Jeff’s writing at jeffadamswrites.com (http://www.jeffadamswrites.com/). You can also follow him on Twitter @hockeyguynyc https://twitter.com/hockeyguynyc). and sign up for his email list (http://eepurl.com/7TJC9) to get the latest updates.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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