The National Campaign for Youth Shelter is a collaborative effort that will build a grassroots campaign to demand a national response to youth homelessness. This new national campaign will focus on sheltering homeless youth, including LGBT youth.
The National Campaign for Youth Shelter calls for:
1. A federal commitment to provide ALL young people, ages 24 and under, with immediate access to safe shelter, affirming the principle that no young person in the United States should be left homeless in the streets.
2. An immediate commitment to add 22,000 shelter beds, along with appropriate services – a five-fold increase over the current level of resources.
3. A more accurate and comprehensive effort to count the number of homeless youth in the nation in order to determine the number of beds that are needed over the next decade.
The campaign will to hold a rally in New York City to launch the campaign as a priority within the LGBT movement on June 2, 2014 in Washington Square Park.
LGBT youth are disproportionately over-represented in the homeless youth population, with as many as 40% of the nation’s homeless youth being LGBT, while only 5% of the overall youth population is LGBT. Currently, there are only approximately 4,000 youth shelter beds in the United States, yet as many as 500,000 unaccompanied youths experience homelessness each year.
“It’s indefensible that our nation would abide hundreds of thousands of young people to be homeless and on their own,” says Jerry Jones, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “The National Campaign for Youth Shelter will highlight the urgency of basic emergency shelter as we work toward permanent solutions to this crisis.”