Homeless youth shouldn’t be
criminalized for trying to survive
Oakland Pride is when we show support for LGBTQ+ rights, culture and communities. There’s progress to celebrate, and I am proud to look at my gay son and tell him his humanity is recognized.
When I think about my work, it’s hard to be proud. I work with youth experiencing homelessness. On any given night in California, there are more than 15,000 youth who are homeless. Half are LGBTQ+. LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely to become homeless than their straight peers.
Youth are on the streets because the streets were a better or only option; 4 out of 10 youth are actively trying to leave the street.
Let’s stop stigmatizing and criminalizing youth for trying to survive. Let’s demand our elected officials do better. Let’s ensure funding and programming for housing that doesn’t leave youth behind.
If we truly support LGBTQ+ youth, we must do something about homelessness.
Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine
Letter: Homeless youth shouldn’t be criminalized for trying to survive