Ending LGBTQ homelessness - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Ending LGBTQ homelessness

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LGBTQ youth and teens struggle with many aspects of life, but one of the hardest things to deal with in our area is homelessness.

“Largely the youth population who is LGBTQ is approximately 5-7 percent, but approximately 40 percent of youth who experience homelessness are LGBTQ, and for the most part 70 percent of those report that the reason for homelessness is family rejection,” said Kim Leighton.

These surprising statistics and the way the youth go about finding places to stay show a need for more help according to some.

“Research shows that youth experiencing homelessness in rural areas Tend to seak out supportive family members and friends when they are pushed out of their own homes so there is a lack of resources,” said Leighton.

For one local woman who started a fundraiser to combat LGBTQ youth homelessness, she says there is only so much we can do with what’s available to us. kids may not technically be labeled homeless in the eyes of the government if their family who rejects them still has a home

“It’s kind of a sticky situation because its a situation where the child or teenager does not feel comfortable returning home, and so it makes it tricky to try and leverage the community resources we have available,” said Laura Wight.

Although there are no set resources available to these kids in our community yet, the Great Falls LGBTQ Center says they will do their best with what they have to help.

“Our goal is to have an emergency fund if needed and then do some education. Our center is really good about doing education and awareness and doing what needs to be done to help the situation,” said Heather Smith.

If you’d like to donate and help out local LGBTQ youths who are fighting homelessness, here is Laura’s fundraiser https://www.gofundme.com/lgbtq-youth-homelessness-support and here is the LGBTQ center’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GreatFallsLGBTQCenter/

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