Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A LGBT youth homelessness report shows a stark picture in Britain


More than half of LGBT people who have been made homeless in Britain have been discriminated against or harassed by people who should be caring for them, according to a new report.

The youth charity AKT surveyed 161 people who have recently experienced homelessness between the ages of 16 and 25, and half who answered said they had feared expressing their LGBT identity to family would lead to them being evicted.

It was already known that LGBT people were disproportionately likely to end up homeless, but the report reveals that almost a quarter (24%) of the homeless population are LGBT-identifying.

Almost two thirds (61%) of LGBT people who had become homeless had first felt frightened or threatened by family, while 16% of those who responded to the survey had been forced into sexual acts by family members beforehand.

The report covered  more subjects and here are some of the headlines:

  • Just 13 per cent of LGBT young people surveyed felt supported by parents or stepparents while homeless. 
  • One in six (16 per cent) of LGBT young people who were happy to answer, were forced to do sexual acts against their will by family members before they became homeless. The same number had experienced this with a romantic partner.
  • Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of LGBT young people who were happy to answer felt frightened or threatened by their family members before they became homeless. One in five experienced this from romantic partners. 
  • Half of LGBT young people (50 per cent) who were happy to answer said they feared that expressing their LGBT identity to family members would lead to them being evicted. Almost one in ten (7 per cent) said the same about romantic partners.
  • Two thirds (64 per cent) of LGBT young people said homelessness made it hard for them to establish or maintain new relationships, including friendships.
  • Almost one fifth (17 per cent) of LGBT young people felt like they had to have casual sex to find somewhere to stay while they were homeless.
  • Less than half (44 per cent) of LGBT young people were aware of housing support services the last time they experienced homelessness. Almost one quarter (24 per cent) weren’t aware of any support services available to them.
  • Only 35 per cent of LGBT young people who have accessed a service whilst homeless recall being asked by service providers to provide information about their gender identity and sexual orientation. Just one third (33 per cent) felt safe to disclose this information.
  • Over half (59 per cent) of LGBT young people have faced some form of discrimination or harassment while accessing services. 
  • The findings of the AKT report, gathered over the past five years, paint a stark picture of queer youth homelessness in Britain. The charity says the government and local authorities need to do more to support homeless young people from LGBT backgrounds.

    Check the report here.