Part of a Series
When reauthorizing the Runaway Homeless Youth Act, Congress should consider increasing the current $195 million allocation for homeless youth, as well as setting aside a portion of this funding that would go directly toward tackling the issue of LGBT youth homelessness. Federal funding should be redirected toward these operations and away from shelters that foster discriminatory, LGBT-unfriendly environments.
Considering how high the demand for safe LGBT homeless shelters is, organizations that foster nurturing environments for homeless gay and transgender youth should be given funding to both sustain and then expand their operations. Devoting more funding toward keeping homeless youth off the streets is money well spent, considering that it costs almost 10 times more to maintain a youth in the criminal justice system for one year ($53,665) than it does to permanently get a homeless youth off the street and prevent them from entering the criminal justice system ($5,887).
For more on this topic please see:
- Nowhere to Go by David Wagner