This report by the The Palette Fund, True Colors Fund, and the Williams Institute presents data from The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Homeless Youth Provider Survey, a web-based survey conducted from October 2011 through March 2012. The survey was designed to assess the experiences of homeless youth organizations in providing services to LGBT youth. It also assessed the prevalence of LGBT youth within the homeless populations being served by these organizations. In total, 381 respondents completed at least part of the survey, representing 354 agencies throughout the United States.
Nearly all of the agencies responding to the survey (94%) reported working with homeless and runaway youth who identify as LGBT in the past year. The number serving LGBT youth has grown over the past ten years, particularly those serving transgender youth.
- Ten years ago, 82% of respondents said that they worked with LGB youth, whereas in the past year, nearly all respondents (94%) said that they worked with LGB youth clients.
- While less than half of respondents said that they served transgender clients ten years ago, more than three-quarters of respondents indicate that they worked with transgender youth in the past year.
LGBT youth comprise approximately 40% of the clientele served by agencies represented in the sample:
- Among both homeless and non-homeless clients, 30% identified as gay or lesbian and 9% identified as bisexual
- 1% of homeless and non-homeless clients were identified as “other gender” but at least another percent of the total clientele were transgender youth who were identified on the survey as either male or female
- Nearly all agencies (91%) reported using intake forms to track the demographic information of their clients, including information on sexual orientation and gender identity; around 30% of agencies use staff estimates to approximate the number of LGBT youth. Given that youth may not be willing to self-identify as being LGBT when initially presenting for services, these data may underestimate the proportion of LGBT youth served by homeless youth providers.