Homeless LGBT Youth Sought for Study

By Bethany Carlson

homelessyouth2LGBT youth are often affected by homelessness after coming out to their families. Community Outreach, Inc. and OSU’s Policy Analysis Laboratory are recruiting participants for a study on homelessness and LGBT youth. Study leader and OSU grad student Julia McKenna said, “We are recruiting participants over the age of 18 who self-identify as LGBTQ+ and who would like to talk about experiences of housing insecurity and homelessness.”

The study will run from November 2014 to February 2015. McKenna emphasizes that homelessness can include such experiences as couch-surfing and living in cars or motels.

The OSU Policy Analysis Laboratory matches community organizations with OSU students to research issues of interest to the organizations. “Kari Whitacre responded wanting to know how to best serve LGBTQ+ young adults who access services at COI and other service providers such as Jackson Street Youth Shelter,” explained McKenna.

The study’s goal is multi-faceted; it will identify current services for the homeless LGBT population, and will investigate the experiences of young adults who’ve used those services. This information will be compiled as a list of recommendations to community service providers. McKenna said, “This report will directly provide valuable information on best practices in serving LGBTQ+ homeless young adults, a population that is overrepresented in the homeless population.” Findings will be made publicly available.

Call or text 541-257-5676 or email oregonlgbtqstudy@gmail.com to schedule a half-hour in-person or phone interview. Participants will receive a $10 gift certificate to a local retailer like Starbucks, Safeway, or Fred Meyer.

More information is available at www.facebook.com/oregonlgbtqstudy.