There are nearly 6,000 youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County on any given night, according to The 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count.
In a separate study of homeless youth in Hollywood - one of the most popular destinations for these youth - nearly 40% identified as being LGBT.
Demand for the services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which been caring for homeless LGBT young people for nearly five decades, is greater than ever.
“These are young people who’ve frequently been rejected by their families, victimized by predators, and/or made outcasts by their communities—all simply for being who they are,” Center CEO Lorri L. Jean writes in a column for the Los Angeles Blade. “Many face threats of abuse, sexual assault, and drug addiction—and the Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the few places they can turn to for help.”
Jean points out that in the past 12 months, the number of visits to the Center’s youth center has increased by double digits. It is there where they can get three meals a day, hot showers, and access to its clothing closet.
“But more than meeting their basic needs, including medical care and counseling, we’re helping young people develop the skills, resources, and confidence to make it on their own through GED preparation and high school completion programs, college scholarships, an employment program, leadership development program, and whatever they need to get off the streets for good.”