LGBTQ people are more represented in the homeless community than they are in the housed population. While national statistics show that 40-43% of homeless youth are LGBTQ, in the Kansas City Metropolitan area statistics show a greater representation of homeless youth in our area are LGBTQ, at nearly 50%.
When seeking assistance, homeless LGBTQ people struggle to finding shelters that accept and respect them. They also are more likely to experience violence, abuse and exploitation compared to homeless heterosexuals. Not only does homelessness make it difficult to acquire employment or the tools necessary for sustainability, but the experience can also leave lasting impacts on the individual experiencing homelessness.
Access to housing can unlock opportunities for better education, income, and health – mentally and physically.
Almost 33% of all visits to the emergency department are made by chronically homeless people. Emergency departments are not equipped to meet the psychosocial needs of homeless patients and do not have the capacity to assist them with housing, substance abuse treatment, or mental healthcare.
There are few public toilets, fewer public showers and even fewer public laundry facilities available to homeless people. Low wage jobs like fast-food restaurants employees are required to be clean. Thus, these barriers make it harder for homeless individuals to acquire jobs unless they have a place to clean themselves.
A chronically homeless person costs the community an average of $35,578 per year. A housing first program could save $23,000 per homeless person per year than a shelter program.
A house provides a sense of security that living on the streets will never give. Having a stable roof over your head with reliable cover from the elements along with a safe place to sleep and to store your belongings, are all essential to being able to thrive, find and maintain employment.
Our approach prioritizes providing permanent housing to LGBTQ people experiencing homelessness, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life. We believe that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before solving other potential issues, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or problems with substance use. Once we help provide a roof over their head, then we work with them on developing other skills and providing a community around them.