Monday, March 12, 2012

The Homeless LGBT Youth Challenge

Laura A. Hughes took to the pages of the Huffington Post to explain the difficulties of working with homeless gay kids. Laura is the executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, Michigan.
How great a challenge? The numbers are stark: 40 percent of the youth we serve self-report being HIV-positive. Many are functionally illiterate. A large percentage are 18- to 21-year-old youth who have aged out of the foster care system, which, statistically, makes them subject to additional risks: one in four will be incarcerated within two years of exiting the foster system; 42 percent will lack a high school diploma by age 19, compared with 13 percent nationally; and they are far less likely to earn college degrees.
The Ruth Ellis Center, serving Detroit Metro, can barely make a dent in this problem. The problem is not so much the homeless children as it is the ignorant parents who kick them out when they come out and make the homeless in the first place.  Imbecility like this should be going on in Saudi Arabia     not in the United States of America. Just how uncivilized are we?

How we treat our most vulnerable citizens defines our culture.
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