Did you know that despite just over 7% of Americans identifying as LBGTQ+, among the unhoused population, between 20% and 40% of people identify similarly? The struggle of being unhoused is an affliction that affects countless individuals worldwide. Still, within this alarming crisis, the plight of LGBTQ+ individuals remains particularly poignant.
Facing multifaceted challenges such as discrimination, rejection, and limited support systems, LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately represented in the unhoused population.
Houselessness is a situation where a person finds themselves without secure and stable housing. While rooted in various factors like poverty and lack of affordable housing, the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals are compounded by unique struggles. Often, family rejection due to sexual orientation or gender identity leads to forced eviction from childhood homes, leaving them vulnerable and without support networks. The fear of discrimination and violence pushes some LGBTQ+ individuals to conceal their identities, making accessing appropriate services and resources difficult. As a result, many find themselves on the streets, facing extreme rates of physical and mental health challenges, substance abuse, and violence.
The consequences of houselessness are far-reaching, affecting individuals' well-being, self-esteem, and overall quality of life. The absence of a stable home denies a person access to basic necessities, such as food, healthcare, and personal safety. For LGBTQ+ individuals, the lack of affirming and inclusive environments exacerbates the risk of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and suicidality. Moreover, houselessness disrupts educational opportunities and professional growth, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and marginalization for all affected.
But, possibly, most of all, it's a lonely experience—one altogether void of joy.
Here at Family Giving Tree, we work to uplift our community and all of those who live in it. That includes the Bay Area's LGBTQ+ community, the unhoused community, and everyone who may have some overlap.
Heading into our 2023 Back-to-School Drive, we want to ensure that educational success is within reach for everyone and that, no matter their circumstances, they have at least one thing to smile about.
To close out this pride month, FGT wants to shine a light on our LGBTQ+ friends and ensure they feel seen. And we hope that you'll join us in building a better, more joyful community for them and all of us.
We all have such immense value, and deserve to be seen and acknowledged, no matter where we come from, what language we speak, or who we love.
So shine bright, and stay loud.
And from our Family Tree to yours,