This is a year or so old, but it was shared with me today and I think it’s a fantastic read. A 2006 study of British Columbia’s homeless or underhoused youth found that a quarter of them were lesbian, gay or bisexual
The study explores the stories of Jin, a Korean-Canadian who turned to sex work to survive; David, a two-spirit native youth who couch-surfed after moving to Toronto; and Matt, who has faced drug addiction and multiple suicide attempts. Vancouver counsellor Jeremy Long, for as long as it could be managed, ran a support group for queer homeless youth. The article explains that Long “says some told him they felt alcohol and drugs were staples of the gay scene,” which is why many queer youth end up with addiction problems.
Homelessness and underhousing problems are further complicated when youth are queer-identified because things like shelters and homeless programs are not always necessarily queer- or youth-positive. In Toronto, programs such as the 519 Community Centre’s anti-poverty and -homelessness program and the Sherbourne Health Centre’s urban healthcare program offer queer-positive resources and referrals for the homeless and underhoused of the city.