Throughout June, Pride Month has been celebrated across the UK. However, it is also important to recognise the challenges that LGBTQ+ people continue to face, particularly in relation to homelessness.
LGBTQ+ people are more likely to experience homelessness than their peers. Research has shown that 20% of LGB people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. This figure is even higher amongst trans people, with 25% having experienced homelessness.
It can be hard to accurately identify the numbers of LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness. People may be reluctant to disclose their gender identity or sexuality due to fear of discrimination or past experiences of abuse. Therefore, the real numbers are likely to be higher.
Young people face more challenges. A study by akt found that two thirds of people felt their sexuality or gender identity was part of the factors that forced them into homelessness. In many cases, people are evicted or thrown out of family homes when their sexuality or gender identity becomes known. Others leave home because of being threatened, leading them to leave home before they are ready and without a much-needed safety net.
Many people who sleep rough experience violence, threats and abuse. LGBTQ+ people are even more vulnerable to such violence. They are at higher risk of hate crimes, exploitation and assault. Substance misuse and mental health issues are also higher.
Studies have found that LGBTQ+ people are more likely to experience homelessness than their peers. They are also at higher risk of substance misuse and mental health issues due to discrimination, intolerance, and abuse.
Emmaus communities offer welcoming, safe spaces for companions. Moving to a community offers people a supportive environment where they can feel a sense of belonging. All communities are welcoming, open and inclusive.
As well as providing a home for as long as it is needed, Emmaus communities offer long-term support to help companions address the problems they have experienced. This can include counselling with mental health professionals, or accessing services to overcome substance misuse. All support is tailored, providing companions the specific help they need to rebuild their lives after homelessness and the pressures that led to them becoming homeless.
There are also a number of specialist homelessness services that work with LGBTQ+ people.
Stonewall Housing – leading national charity supporting LGBTQ+ people of all ages in the UK who are experiencing homelessness or living in an unsafe environment.
akt –charity for young LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness. Its aim is to work with young people facing hostile living environments due to their sexuality or gender identity.
The Outside Project – London-based charity for young LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness. Its aim is to work with young people facing hostile living environments due to their sexuality or gender identity.
Help Emmaus continue to be a safe place where people can rebuild their lives after homelessness. Donate now.