Rep. Pocan to hold congressional briefing on LGBT homeless youth


Openly gay U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., will hold a briefing panel today (June 11) on LGBT youth homelessness.

The briefing was scheduled for 2 p.m. EST in the Cannon House Office Building.

A notice from Pocan, who is a co-chairs of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, said, “Homelessness is one of the most pressing matters affecting LGBT youth in our country. Recent studies find that nearly 40 percent of homeless or at-risk youth identify as LGBT, yet less than 10 percent of young people in the country identify as LGBT.

“This startling over-representation in homelessness statistics is overwhelmingly based on rejection of LGBT youth by family. Forty-six percent ran away because of family rejection stemming from their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression while 43 percent were forced out of the home by parents because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

“Despite these statistics only twenty-four percent of homeless youth programs are designed specifically for the unique needs of LGBT youth, such as programs that mediate family conflict due to a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”

Panelists were to include: Jama Shelton, Forty to None project director, True Colors Fund; Bryan Samuels, commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families; Todd Shenk, special assistant, Federal Housing Administration; Sharon McDonald, director of Families and Youth, National Alliance to End Homelessness; Tim Clark, board of directors, Pathfinders Milwaukee.