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Tell the Senate to Help Reconnect Youth to Prevent Homelessness
If there is one place in the world where a person should not have to earn love, acceptance and support, it is at home among family. And yet, it is at home where many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people first experience rejection. Disheartened and, in some cases, disowned, many of these young people feel unsupported, isolated, invisible and even ostracized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and end up living on the streets. It’s therefore not at all surprising that, of the 500,000 and 1.6 million homeless youth in the U.S., a disproportionate rate — 20% to 40% — identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
There is a vital piece of legislation that Senator John Kerry has introduced that, if passed, will have a significant impact in helping to keep gay and transgender youth from becoming homeless. The bill is called the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act and we are asking you to contact your senators today to urge them to support this important piece of legislation. Please send a letter now!
Dear Members of the Senate,
It is estimated that between 500,000 and 1.6 million youth are homeless each year in the United States. It is also estimated that 20-40% of them identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, while only 3-5% of the general youth population does the same. The primary reason for this significant disparity is family rejection due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. These young people are forced out of their homes or runaway out of fear and despair.
I respectfully ask that you support the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act. Senator John Kerry has introduced this legislation to reduce youth homelessness and specifically prevent homelessness among gay and transgender teens.
Under Section 106 of the legislation, the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act would establish research-based programming aimed at reducing dejecting behaviors and increasing supporting behaviors and understanding among families to improve the chances of gay and transgender youth remaining at home. The programs would also focus on improving relationships to keep gay and transgender youth in a safe and stable environment.
Please support this important effort to facilitate greater acceptance in homes across the country and ensure that no young person is forced out of their homes simply because they are gay or transgender.