June is Pride Month in the United States. A month that celebrates the progress the LGBTQ+ community has made over time in the United States. The community has faced many issues over the years, including the AIDS epidemic, discrimination and many others. Although, one of the issues that has plagued this community, especially the LGBTQ+ youth community, is homelessness.
San Francisco is known as a progressive and openly accepting city for the LGBTQ+ community. It hosted the first gay pride parade in 1970. With the election of Harvey Milk to the Board of Supervisors, it became the first city to elect an openly gay official in California history. San Francisco even issued the first same-sex marriage licenses within the United States in 2004.
The homelessness crisis in San Francisco sees no gender, color or sexuality. About 30% of individuals experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+. Notably, nearly half of the youth individuals experiencing homelessness in San Francisco are members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Many young individuals who are a part of LGBTQ+ community are forced into homelessness due to family issues, being disowned, or escaping abuse from their family members. Homelessness disproportionately affects black youth, particularly black transgender youth. One way to help this epidemic is to give formerly homeless youth a voice in fixing this issue, which San Francisco has done over the years.
As San Francisco continues its efforts to help get individuals experiencing homelessness off the streets and transitioning back into society, The HomeMore Project’s 27 Step Journey is one way that the city could help all individuals. The HomeMore Campus will provide not only housing solutions but medical, psychological and wellness care. It also helps to educate residents and find a career path that is right for them. For LGBTQ+ youth, this education program is critical because many may not have finished school due to the disruptions attached with experiencing homelessness.
Even though June has concluded, it is important to remind ourselves that being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is more than just a one-month trend. As an accepting city and as human beings, it is our job to aid them in any way we possibly can. Whatever you choose to do, know your support cannot end once Pride Month does. Helping others is a year-long celebration.