Young LGBT people’s stories of homelessness wanted for Youth Commission
LGBT Youth Scotland’s Youth Commissioners want to hear from LGBT young people who have experience of homelessness.
The group are gathering young people’s stories to help evidence the need for a National Strategy that recognises the role discrimination plays in increasing the risk of homelessness.
LGBT young people are disproportionately represented amongst the young homeless population in the U.K, where approximately 24 per cent of all young people identify as LGBT (Albert Kennedy Trust, 2015).
Supported by LGBT Youth Scotland, a group of ten young people from across Scotland have come together to form a Youth Commission on Homelessness and Housing to address the specific issues and risks young LGBT people face when homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Janice Stevenson, development officer & domestic abuse support worker at LGBT Youth Scotland, said: “Despite knowing that discrimination plays a role in increasing the risk of LGBT people becoming homeless, the specific issues and risks LGBT young people face are rarely mentioned in policy.
“Our Youth Commissioners want to hear your stories to evidence the need for a National Homelessness Strategy for Scotland that recognises the role discrimination plays in increasing the risk of LGBT people becoming homeless.
“Housing and homelessness policy is currently developed and implemented by Local Authorities. A National Strategy would help ensure that LGBT young people receive the most appropriate response from services when homeless and that prevention strategy include actions to reduce the causes of LGBT homelessness.”
Housing and Homelessness Youth Commissioner, Megan McIntyre, added: “We are gathering case studies to highlight the experiences of LGBT young people. We want to hear your stories of homelessness to help bring about change to ensure that LGBT young people‘s housing needs are met.
“We want to hear from young people age 16 and over who have lived experiences of homelessness at any point in the last 5 years. This can include experience of rough sleeping; sofa surfing; and staying in temporary accommodation, refuge or hostels.
“We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who has experienced domestic abuse from a partner or ex-partner, or abuse or rejection from their family, but all experiences of homelessness are relevant and valued. All identities can be anonymised.
“Young people can write their own story and send it in to Janice; or arrange to meet in person or chat over the phone.”
The gathered stories and experiences will be highlighted in a final report, and displayed at an exhibition style event in spring 2017, where professionals and decision makers will be invited to come together to learn about key challenges and recommendations through the medium of the arts.