JOURNAL ARTICLE

Out on the street: a public health and policy agenda for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who are homeless

Alex S Keuroghlian, Derri Shtasel, Ellen L Bassuk
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 2014, 84 (1): 66-72
24826829
A disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth experience homelessness each year in the United States. LGBT youth who are homeless have particularly high rates of mental health and substance use problems, suicidal acts, violent victimization, and a range of HIV risk behaviors. Given the intense needs of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness, it is imperative to understand their unique experiences and develop responsive practices and policies. The range and severity of health risks vary across subgroups of all homeless LGBT youth, and because the population is nonhomogeneous, their particular needs must be identified and addressed. Thus, the purpose of this article is to review the causes of homelessness among LGBT youth, discuss the mental health and victimization risks faced by this population, address differences among homeless LGBT subgoups, and recommend effective interventions and best practices. The authors conclude by discussing promising future research and public policy directions.

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