We are excited to announce that the Forty to None Project has officially launched!
In America, it is estimated that between 500,000 and 1.6. million youth are homeless each year and that up to 40% of these young people identify as gay or transgender. Since its creation in 2008, the True Colors Fund and its co-founder Cyndi Lauper have been advocating and raising awareness about the fact that no young person deserves to be homeless, let alone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
As part of the assessment, the True Colors Fund, in partnership with The Palette Fund and the Williams Institute at UCLA conducted a web-based survey to the National Runaway Switchboard's network of 10,000 direct service providers across the country. The LGBT Homeless Youth Provider Survey was designed to assess the experiences of homeless youth organizations in providing services and programs to LGBT youth. It also assessed the prevalence of LGBT youth within the homeless populations being served by these organizations. In total, 381 respondents completed at least part of the survey, representing 354 agencies throughout the United States.
Initial findings from the survey indicate that among respondents:
- 30% of homeless and non-homeless clients identified as gay or lesbian and 9% identified
- 1% of homeless and non-homeless clients were identified as "other gender" but at least
another percent of the total clientele were transgender youth who were identified on the
survey as either male or female
- 43% of clients served by drop-in centers identified as LGBT; 30% of street outreach
clients identified as LGBT
- 30% of clients utilizing housing programs (emergency shelter, transitional living
programs, permanent housing programs, independent living and host home programs)
identified as LGBT (26% LGB and 4% T)
The Forty to None Project stems from a year-long assessment by the True Colors Fund, with the support of The Palette Fund, looking at the current state of affairs for homeless LGBT youth, including the state and level of direct services available to them and the public's awareness of the issue. The True Colors Fund has developed an in-depth 5 year strategic plan for the Forty to None Project. The Project will primarily focus in its first year on 3 key areas:
- Education and Awareness: Inspiring and empowering others to get involved in bringing
an end to LGBT youth experiencing homelessness and raising the profile and visibility,
as well as generating support of the direct service providers (i.e. shelters, drop in
centers, street outreach programs) and other entities working to bring an end to LGBT
youth experiencing homelessness.
- Advocacy: Advocating for LGBT homeless youth at all levels of government, in the
media and in communities to ensure proper funding and equal access to the help they
- Empowerment: Developing innovative programs that empower gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender youth who are at risk of becoming homeless or are experiencing
In January 2011, the True Colors Fund set out across the country to meet with young people, direct service providers, community leaders, government officials and advocacy organizations to determine the best role for the organization to fill in response to the growing need around the issue of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness.
After a year of development, they are proud to launch the result of their extensive research - the Forty to None Project - the first national program to focus solely on youth homelessness and its impact on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people. The Forty to None Project is committed to doing all it can to help to bring an end to this epidemic, and reduce the disproportionate percentage of gay and transgender youth who are homeless from 40% to none.
In the coming months and years, the Forty to None Project will unveil and execute an extensive set of programs and initiatives around the areas of education, advocacy, empowerment, capacity building, and inclusion. In the immediate future, the program will focus primarily on raising public awareness, engaging society to be a part of the solution, advocating on behalf of gay and transgender homeless youth on Capitol Hill, and empowering those whom the issue affects most deeply, young homeless people themselves, to overcoming the obstacles and realize the futures they deserve.
Cyndi and everyone at the True Colors Fund is committed to doing all that they can to help gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth who are experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk.
This past Sunday, Cyndi served as a Grand Marshal in the NYC Pride Parade and the True Colors Fund and Forty to None Project contingent followed directly behind and their website - www.fortytonone.org - went live.
To all of you who have filled out your page on the Online Directory, thank you! To search for your listing, Click Here.
If you have not had a chance to do so or you would like to update your listing, Click Here.
Next Monday, July 2nd, the True Colors Fund will be releasing a new report of findings from the survey of service providers that we did this winter in partnership with The Palette Fund and the Williams Institute at UCLA, with the support of the National Runaway Switchboard and CenterLink. Many of you took part in the survey, thank you! A summary of some of the key findings are in the attached press release. In the next couple of weeks we will be announcing another initial effort of the Forty to None Project that will directly work to empower LGBT homeless and at-risk youth in the NYC area.
For more information about the Forty to None Project:
- Visit the Official Website.
- Check out the PSA.