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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Best Practices for Serving LGBTQI2-S Youth: Existing Resources
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This page highlights resources related to improving services and supports for sexual and gender minority youth experiencing homelessness. It is part of resource package created to help programs better serve youth who are LGBTQI2-S and homeless.

This page is part of resource package created to help programs better serve youth who are LGBTQI2-S and homeless. It was derived from the results of a Listening Tour of programs serving this population. Visit the Listening Tour Page for more information, or read the draft report: Learning from the Field: Programs Serving LGBTQI2-S Youth Experiencing Homelessness.

There is a growing awareness of the disproportionate representation of youth who identify as LGBTQI2-S among the homeless youth population, and the special vulnerabilities faced by these youth. This page highlights resources related to improving services and supports for sexual and gender minority youth experiencing homelessness:

The National Recommended Best Practices for Serving LGBT Homeless Youth was created in 2009 by National Alliance to End Homelessness, Lambda Legal, National Network for Homeless Youth, and National Center for Lesbian Rights. It provides recommendations for direct care providers and administrators to:

  • Treat LGBT youth respectfully and ensure their safety
  • Appropriately address LGBT identity during intake
  • Support access to education, medical care, and mental health care
  • Support transgender and gender non-conforming youth participants
  • Inform LGBT youth about local LGBT programs and services
  • Create a safe and inclusive environment
  • Adopt and implement written nondiscrimination policies
  • Provide LGBT competency training to all agency employees and volunteers
  • Establish sound recruitment and hiring practices
  • Develop agency connections to LGBT organizations and the LGBT community

Other important resources offer recommendations to improve care for youth who are LGBTQI2-S and experiencing homelessness. These include:

HRC Resource
SAMHSA
2011
Rockville, MD
617-467-6014