January 9, 2013
Vol: 20 No: 2

News

Gates Foundation gives $400,000 to efforts to address homelessness among LGBTQ teens

by: RC Staff

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On any given night, LBGTQ young people may make up as much as half of the total homeless youth populations in Portland and Seattle, according to Kris Hermanns, Executive Director of Pride Foundation, a donor-supported Northwest LBGTQ nonprofit.

Many of these teens have been rejected by their families, abused or forced out of their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and some have aged out of the foster care system.

Why are LBGTQ youth disproportionately represented on the streets, and what can be done about it? Pride Foundation is seeking proposals to answer these questions.

Using a $400,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pride Foundation will fund innovative approaches to addressing poverty in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LBGTQ) community in Washington state and Portland, Ore.

This month, Pride Foundation will announce a Request for Proposals (RFP), with particular emphasis on partnerships that focus on homeless LGBTQ youth.

The $400,000 grant, which will be awarded over four years, is part of the Gates Foundation’s Building Community Philanthropy program, which engages local community foundations to find solutions to social problems, including intergenerational poverty.

It can be hard to find accurate state and local data about poverty in the LGBTQ community because information about sexual orientation and gender identity is not collected, and respondents may be reluctant to self-identify. 

According to Hermanns, homeless LGBTQ youth are more likely to face challenges that limit or diminish their economic futures, including a low-income background, health and employment problems and contact with the justice system.

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