St. Petersburg, Florida is mobilizing to end lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth homelessness!
Local partners (consisting of community organizations, homeless youth service providers, artists, police, universities, funders, and young people with experiences of homelessness) have been working relentlessly on a comprehensive survey of LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness in St. Petersburg/Pinellas County, Florida. On Friday, December 2, they presented the preliminary results of the ongoing survey and facilitated an action planning collaborative lab to discuss the survey results and possible next steps.
Together, the group decided upon a plan of action as they navigate this planning stage of their work – which they’ve shared with us. And we’re very excited to share it with you! Check it out:
- St Pete’s Vision of Success:
- The entire community, and in particular parents, are accepting of LGBTQ+ youth. These youth are celebrated instead of merely tolerated or accepted. There are open conversations occurring where everyone can learn and become more informed. There are supportive adults who act as mentors for the youth. The services that the youth need are available, accessible and connected.
- Provide affordable subsidized housing. This might look like mini communities that are safe with medical care, health services, mentors, activities, and support.
- Require through public policy at the local and state levels that any agency dealing with LGBTQ+ youth understand the specific issues (culturally competent).
- Establish a 24/7 drop-in center where people can make connections to services.
- Expand education across the board to the general public. Ensure that language is inclusive in all state and federal policy.
- Next Steps include:
- Hold a second collaborative lab will be held in late January to continue the conversation
- Hold a March event to continue the action planning, in collaboration with Real Stories
- Produce “real stories” to present qualitative data (documentary)
- Finish distributing surveys
The study in St. Petersburg is made possible by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg.