The Center’s Youth Services program has evolved, filling critical needs and gaps in local services, and intentionally complementing the work of other organizations while increasing the resources available to the most vulnerable youth.
Since 2009, we have focused our services explicitly on the needs of unsheltered youth ages 18-24 by providing significant supportive and referral services to unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.
Here in San Francisco, LGBTQ youth make up about half of the unsheltered youth population. This includes youth who are on the street or in shelters each night. Factors that contribute to youth being unsheltered include family rejection, conflict, poverty, and abuse. Lack of community support can further drive homeless LGBTQ youth to migrate to San Francisco.
The Center has been well-positioned—through our deep connections with youth and with community members—to develop an effective Host Homes program, since “host homes” are not traditional housing placements but rely on youth choice and the kind of community-building that is central to our mission and work.
Host Homes an innovative, community response to youth homelessness.
Host homes are currently being used in numerous cities across the United States, including: Minneapolis, Baltimore, Louisville, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Cincinnati, Rochester, Seattle, and others. Each community uniquely implemented the host home program to fit the needs of their youth. The SF LGBT Center will do the same.
The SF LGBT Center is piloting Host Homes with support from Point Source Youth and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.