Saturday, November 26, 2022

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An investigative probe into how rules written for distressed rust belt property may benefit a select few; Small Business Saturday highlights local Economies; FL nonprofit helps offset the high cost of insulin.

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A Supreme Court case could have broad implications for the future of U.S. elections, results show voters rejected election deniers in many statewide races, and the concession phone call may be a thing of the past.

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A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

MI Groups Raise Awareness of Dangers for LGBTQ Homeless Youth

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Monday, December 6, 2021   

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The holidays can be a tough time for young people experiencing homelessness, and Michigan organizations are working to provide safe and warm places for them as winter sets in.

One in 10 young adults ages 18 to 25, experiences homelessness in the course of a year. Homelessness is 83% more likely for a young person who is Black, and 120% more likely for one who identifies as LGBTQ.

Hunter Willard, director of homeless youth programs for the group OutFront Kalamazoo, said the group is looking for volunteers to host young LGBTQ people in their homes.

"A lot of shelters are not affirming to LGBT folks, especially trans people," Willard explained. "They're, in fact, dangerous for trans people a lot of the times."

Studies have shown LGBTQ youth who are homeless are more likely to experience violence, stigma and sexual abuse, and to turn to substance use as a coping strategy. Sixty-two percent of LGBTQ youth surveyed by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago said they had been physically harmed by others.

Cities and property owners across Michigan have been removing homeless encampments, and Willard pointed out it is important to increase access to housing people can afford, so they have somewhere to go.

"Baseline, on the state and federal level, there needs to be significantly more affordable housing at the ready," Willard asserted. "More subsidized housing that homeless individuals can take advantage of, and more shelters, and more shelters that are affirming."

An estimated 7% of young people in the U.S. are LGBTQ, but they make up 40% of youths experiencing homelessness. Their advocates say the affordable housing measures in the Build Back Better Act would make progress toward reducing the number of young people without stable homes.


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