Tackling the scourge of homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth

October 24, 2007

Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358


Service providers will converge on D.C. metro area tomorrow, Oct. 25, for
Task Force-sponsored first-ever training in comprehensive care for LGBT homeless youth, whose numbers have reached epidemic proportions

Open to the media

Addressing the Problem: Increasing the level of awareness and expertise among service providers to the needs of homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth

Welcoming Remarks: Joy Cianci, Vice President, Office of Community & Charitable Giving, Fannie Mae

Nick Ray, Senior Policy Analyst, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Lisa Mottet, Transgender Civil Rights Project Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Theresa Nolan, Director of NYC Programs, Green Chimneys Children's Services
Grace McClelland, Executive Director, Ruth Ellis Center, Detroit, Mich.
Colby Berger, Director of LGBTQ Services, Home for Little Wanderers in Brighton, Mass.
Mary Jo Callan, Executive Director, Ozone House, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007

Doubletree Hotel
8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Md.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates the number of homeless and runaway youth ranges from 575,000 to 1.6 million per year. According to the National Runaway Switchboard, 20 to 40 percent identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). LGBT youth experience homelessness at an alarmingly disproportionate rate. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in collaboration with the National Coalition for the Homeless, recently released a report titled Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness, which reveals the conditions, needs and legal status of LGBT homeless youth. The report also makes significant recommendations regarding legislative, governmental and societal response to this epidemic. This training — an unprecedented response to the findings of this study — will bring together professionals with expertise in research, information and best practices regarding comprehensive care for these most vulnerable youth.  

The epidemic of homelessness among LGBT youth is not going away on its own. What is needed is a comprehensive policy and practice solution that makes service providers responsible for providing safe havens for LGBT youth and then holds them accountable if they fall short of this goal. This training, made possible by the Fannie Mae Foundation, is a significant step in helping youth service agencies in the D.C. area provide comprehensive and competent care and support to at-risk LGBT youth.

Social service organizations from the Washington D.C. metro area attending this historic training include the Academy of Hope, Access Housing, Advocates for Youth, Clean & Sober Streets, Community of Hope, Families Forward, Food & Friends, From Streets to Skills Social Services, Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, National Center for Children and Families, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Pathway Homes Inc., Sarah’s Circle, Sasha Bruce Youth Work, Inc., Shepherd’s Table, SOME, Inc., Traditional Housing Corporation, United Community Ministries and others.

Media opportunity: Trainers and social service personnel from the D.C. metropolitan area will be available for comment or interview.

Contact Roberta Sklar at 646.358.1465 or


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.