The 2014 General Social Survey found that 13.4% heterosexuals in Australia had ever been homeless compared with 20.8% bisexual people and 33.7% lesbian/gay people (gender identity not included) [1].

Research suggests LGBTI people are over-represented in homelessness services, although the actual prevalence in Australia is unknown. Data from service providers in the US suggest LGBTQ people account for 20-40% of homeless youth [2], and 29.5% in Canada [3]. Other sub-groups at increased risk are older lesbians and trans and gender diverse people. LGBTI people who are homeless have a higher incidence of adverse outcomes, including victimisation and poor mental health [4], and often experience discrimination, harassment, and violence when accessing homelessness services [5].

Our mission is to conduct collaborative research and co-designed projects to address housing and homelessness in the LGBTI community.

We hope our work increases understanding of current needs, capacity, practices, pathways, and challenges in providing safe, appropriate, inclusive services for LGBTI people who experience homelessness, leading to improvements in public policy. We also hope the pilot model of care will increase the capacity for homelessness organisations to provide inclusive care and promote better health outcomes for trans and gender diverse clients.

Ultimately, we hope our work benefits the community by increasing information and support for individuals who identify as LGBTI, improving access to LGBTI inclusive homelessness services, and facilitating safer housing options.

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014). ‘General Social Survey’.
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4159.0#Anchor5  Accessed 25 August 2016

[2] National LGBTQ Task Force & Policy Institute (2016).
‘At the Intersections: A collaborative report on LGBTQ youth homelessness’ http://attheintersections.org

[3] Stephen Gaetz, Bill O’Grady, Sean Kidd & Kaitlin Schwan. (2016). ‘Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey’. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press.

[4] Cochran, B. N., A. J. Stewart, J. A. Ginzler & A. M. Cauce (2002). ‘Challenges faced by homeless sexual minorities: comparison of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender homeless adolescents with their heterosexual counterparts’. Am J Public Health 92(5): 773-777.

[5] Bletsas, A & Oakley, S March (2013). ‘Understanding the circumstances and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and gender questioning people who are homelessness in Australia: a scoping study’. Positioning Paper, National Homelessness Research Partnership Program, http://webarchive.nla.gov.au/gov/20150324155038/https://homelessnessclearinghouse.govspace.gov.au/about-homelessness/commonwealth-initiatives/national-homelessness-research/research-release-understanding-the-circumstances-and-experiences-of-young-lgbtiq-people-who-are-homeless-in-australia-a-scoping-study-2013-Australia

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