Lost in the Crowd

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

The Center for American Progress has a program where, for the past couple of years, they have generated an Idea of the Day with the purpose of improving the society in which we live.

Yesterday’s idea caught my attention.  It was entitled, Outlaw LGBT Discrimination in Federally Funded Shelters.

Obviously, religious groups are free to believe whatever they want. But any organization-religious or not-that treats homeless gay and transgender youth differently than straight homeless youth should not receive any taxpayer dollars.

I’d also like to ask people to watch for the documentary Lost in the Crowd, by Austrian filmmaker Susi Graf.

Title III of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, known as the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (renewed in 2003) needs to be amended to require homeless shelters which receive federal funds to not discriminate against gay and transgender youth.

The Center’s idea calls for the adoption of the following

  • Treating gay and transgender youth with respect and ensuring their safety
  • Affirming gay and transgender youth’s identities rather than challenging or trying to alter them
  • Facilitating access to supportive education, medical care, and mental health care
  • Connecting youth with local LGBT programs, resources, and services designed specifically for the LGBT community
  • Adopting written nondiscrimination plans
  • Educating employees about who gay and transgender youth are and what they need from a homeless shelter

The National Alliance to End Homelessness developed these and other Best Practices for serving LGBT Homeless Youth.

LGBT youth are at a greater risk of physical an sexual exploitation than most homeless kids and represent 20-40% of homeless youth, since they are at extreme risk of being disowned and evicted from their family homes.

The government has a plan: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness was introduced in June, which targets ending this problem by 2020.

Isn’t that a bit late?

A bit more about the problem:

A version of DADT

There are move videos at this link.


Skip to comment form

    • Robyn on August 17, 2010 at 23:45

    …in Orange.

    • Robyn on August 18, 2010 at 02:09
    • RUKind on August 18, 2010 at 04:44

    Those faith-based initiatives fund a lot of morally and spiritually sick organizations. I happen to know a lot of people who have been through homeless shelters. Non-denominational, open to all shelters. I haven’t heard of any discrimination but I can see where it may easily exist.

    The very concept of a shelter is to provide basic humanitarian needs. If anyone discriminates in that effort they need to be removed or unfunded.

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