Homelessness and LGBTQ2S+ Youth


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The #CHVCatchUp is a monthly series featuring the latest updates and news from Covenant House Vancouver. Miss604 is proud to be the Official Blog Partner of CHV to share and tell their stories.

Homelessness and LGBTQ2S+ Youth

Covenant House Logo with Pride Flag (1)

“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential” – Harvey Milk.

Covenant House Vancouver strives to be a safe and inclusive space for all youth

Covenant House Vancouver strives to ensure all young people can achieve their potential and provide a safe space for all to do so regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Covenant House takes a trauma-informed, resilience-focused approach to accompanying the youth in their care. CHV program staff participate in specialized training to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and awareness to create a welcoming space for LGBTQ2S+ youth.

Delia Giandeini on Unsplash - Covenant House LGBTQ2S+
Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

Did you know?

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, gender non-binary and two-spirited youth are overrepresented in the homeless community.  Covenant House strongly believes all youth deserve unconditional love, absolute respect and to be supported relentlessly.

  • 25-40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ2S+
  • Family rejection is the most common cause of LGBTQ2S+ youth homelessness
  • LGBTQ2S+ youth are much more likely to struggle with mental health concerns, including suicide

Compared to the general population, transgender, and gender non-conforming people in Canada are also:

  • 7 times more likely to abuse drugs or other substances
  • 5 times more likely to have mental health issues
  • 5 times more likely to attempt suicide
  • 2 times as likely to experience severe poverty and homelessness

Finding Safety and Support at Covenant House Vancouver

A young person from another country was in Canada on a student visa, their visa ran out, they lost their job and they feared being sent home to their home country.

Why?

Because this young person identified as a member of the LGBTQ2S+ Community.

They shared their parents, friends, and family would not approve of them being openly out. They shared that even though it is legal now in their country, violence still occurs frequently against members of the LGBTQ2S+ Community. And they are worried that they would not be safe there.

The young person has stayed at CHV for some time and has been connected to an immigration lawyer, connected with QMUNITY an LGBTQ2S+ resource, and takes free online classes.

This young person was alone, afraid, had no supports but saw Canada and Covenant House as a place where they felt safe. Their hope is to stay in Vancouver, work, and become an active member of society as the person they were born to be, and be an out and proud member of the LGBTQ2S+ Community.

Delia Giandeini on Unsplash - Covenant House LGBTQ2S+
Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

Resources for LGBTQ2S+ Youth

Covenant House Vancouver’s Drop-In Center holds an event for LGBTQ2S+ youth each month. There are 63 beds in their short-term Crisis Program:

  • 24 beds for female-identified, trans, and non-binary youth
  • 35 beds for male-identified, trans, and non-binary youth

Trans, gender queer, non-binary, gender non-conforming and two-spirit youth may request to stay in which ever space they feel most comfortable in.

If you are a youth in need of support or have questions, please contact Covenant House Vancouver toll-free at 1-877-685-7474 or click here.

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