Mental Health, Homelessness and LGBT+ Young People

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2021 National Young Members' Conference
12 August 2021
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that in the past two years through a confluence of multiple crises including a global pandemic, a massive shift in the economy, and rising unjust violence against the Black Community, that Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Plus (LGBT+) young people everywhere faced issues that changed their lives. Unfortunately, we’ve seen these issues negatively impact their mental health and that has seen an increase in homelessness.

Conference notes the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer plus) youth homelessness report (2021). This report, highlights research that centres the voices and experiences of LGBT+ young people who have faced any form of homelessness in the last five years.

Some of the findings include:

• Almost two thirds of LGBTQ+ young people who responded felt frightened or threatened by their family members before they became homeless. One in five experienced this from romantic partners.

• Half of LGBTQ+ young people who responded said they feared that expressing their LGBTQ+ identity to family members would lead to them being evicted. Almost one in ten said the same about romantic partners.

• Two thirds of LGBTQ+ young people said homelessness made it hard for them to establish or maintain new relationships, including friendships.

• Almost one fifth of LGBTQ+ young people felt like they had to have casual sex to find somewhere to stay while they were homeless.

• Less than half of LGBTQ+ young people were aware of housing support services the last time they experienced homelessness. Almost one quarter weren’t aware of any support services available to them.

• Over half of LGBTQ+ young people have faced some form of discrimination or harassment while accessing services.

AKT also found that almost a quarter of homeless people aged between 16 and 25 identify as LGBT+, and more than three quarters of those people believe coming out to their parents was the main factor.

Conference further notes that the LGBT+ charity Just Like Us reported in February 2021, that LGBT+ young people are twice as likely to feel lonely and more than twice as likely to worry for their mental health on a daily basis during the pandemic than their non-LGBT+ peers.

The process of figuring out your sexuality is stressful; never mind the pressure of hiding it, worrying about how your friends or parents will react and worrying that someone will figure it out. This is the reality of life for countless LGBT+ young people.

Conference therefore calls on the National Young Members Committee to

A)Work to raise awareness of homelessness amongst Young LGBT+ members and the impact on mental health;

B. Work with the National LGBT+ Committee to raise wider awareness of the effects of homelessness on Young LGBT+ members;

C. Encourage branch and regional young member’s groups to consider action on homelessness for Young Members’ with an emphasis on those who are LGBT+.

D. Promote LGBT+ charities that offer Mental health support for LGBT+ young people