SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Advocates for San Francisco’s LGBT homeless and homeless youth were at San Francisco City Hall Wednesday to ask for more housing and support services.
Historically, the city has focused most of its homeless housing resources on single adult males, but the latest in a series of public hearings on the topic saw activists calling on San Francisco to reduce homelessness in the LGBT community by 50 percent in five years.
Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director on the Coalition on Homelessness, brought her passionate voice to the supervisor’s hearing, hoping to raise awareness about life as a homeless youth.
“There’s a story behind every individual who’s young, who’s experiencing homelessness. It’s a tragic story filled with fear, with uncertainty, with a lot of trauma and a lot of abuse,” she said.
Supervisor Mark Farrell was able to put things in better perspective when he said 914 youth were identified as homeless in a recent count. It was also stated that about a quarter of the city’s entire homeless population (both youth and adults) are LGBT, but they don’t get a quarter of the city’s funding.
Advocates said part of the problem is the focus on housing homeless families while single youths and LGBT youth go under the radar and don’t fit neatly into how the city’s shelter program is set up. They said the need is overwhelming.
A resident at the hearing compared the funding for the marginalized to the rain we’ve been getting in San Francisco and said it’s nice, but not enough.