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Cityscape: Volume 20 Number 3 | Homelessness and Housing Experiences among LGBTQ Young Adults in Seven U.S. Cities


Youth Homelessness

Volume 20, Number 3

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Homelessness and Housing Experiences among LGBTQ Young Adults in Seven U.S. Cities

Jama Shelton
Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College

Jonah DeChants
University of Denver

Kim Bender
University of Denver

Hsun-Ta Hsu
University of Missouri School of Social Work

Diane Santa Maria
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Robin Petering
University of Southern California

Kristin Ferguson
Arizona State University

Sarah Narendorf
University of Houston

Anamika Barman-Adhikari
University of Denver

Research demonstrates the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young adult(s) (YA) experiencing homelessness, including preliminary evidence regarding the unique barriers and circumstances of the subpopulations within the broader category of LGBTQ. Few research efforts have investigated the differential experiences between identity and racial subgroups within the population of LGBTQ YA experiencing homelessness, however. This study uses a seven-city sample of 442 LGBTQ YA experiencing homelessness to examine the homelessness and housing experiences of LGBTQ YA—including specific experiences of marginalized and understudied subgroups—and compare these experiences across racial subgroups. Analyses revealed LGBTQ YA most commonly experienced homelessness because they were kicked out/asked to leave the home of their parents, relatives, foster or group homes. This experience was more common among transgender YA. Other differential experiences related to duration of homelessness, discrimination, and stress were reported across subgroups. This study fills a critical gap in the literature by identifying differential experiences of subgroups within the LGBTQ YA homeless population that can better inform program and policy interventions designed to prevent and end homelessness among YA.

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