HEALTH & WELLNESS

POVERTY / HOMELESSNESS

UNnit 7 Street Help

964 Wyandotte Street East, Windsor, ONT

519-977-9200  

www.street-help.com

Street Help provides outreach street patrol services to the homeless: sleeping bags, back packs, socks,winter clothing, and information on local services.

Windsor Residence For Young Men

1505 Langlois Avenue, Windsor, ONT
226-221-8464  

www.wrym.ca

Windsor Residence for Young Men. WRYM is a charitable organization designed to promote the emotional and temporal welfare of homeless male persons, 16 to 20 years of age, with the primary focus of reconciliation with their families.

Windsor Youth Centre

1247 Wyandotte Street East, Windsor, ONT

226-674-0006  

www.thewindsoryouthcentre.org

The Windsor Youth Centre is a Drop-in centre for youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Windsor-Essex community. They provide a safe and friendly atmosphere for homeless and at-risk youth including LGBTT youth with the aim to foster positive change and growth and to meet the basic needs.

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Poverty / Homelessness in Windsor-Essex

  • About 1 out of 6 (16,428) children and youth in Windsor-Essex live in poverty.

  • Food banks in Windsor-Essex served 31% of their meals, a total of 69,415, to children in 2011.

  • 54.2% of low-income children live in two-parent families.

  • More than 1 in 3 children living in poverty in Ontario are in families where at least 1 parent works the equivalent of a full-time, full-year job.

  • Children who live in poverty are more likely as adults to develop a range of diseases and have lower life expectancy.

Why is there LGBT Homelessness

The most frequently cited factor contributing to LGBT homelessness was family rejection based on sexual orientation and gender identity, with the second most common reason of being forced out by their parents after coming out, according to the Williams Institute,  At school LGBT students often face harassment, both physical and verbal, which leads to high dropout rates.

  • Gay and transgender students are two-times less likely to finish high school or pursue a college education compared to the national average.

  • 86 percent: The portion of gay and lesbian students who reported being verbally harassed at school due to their sexual orientation in 2007.

  • 44 percent: The portion of gay and lesbian students who reported being physically harassed at school because of their sexual orientation in 2007.

  • 22 percent: The portion of gay and transgender students who reported having been physically attacked in school in 2007, with 60% saying they did not report the incidents because they believed no one would care.

  • 31 percent: The portion of gay and transgender students who report incidents of harassment and violence at school to staff, only to receive no response.
     

LGBT youth are also disproportionally homeless due to overt discrimination when seeking alternative housing – widespread discrimination in federally funded institutions frequently contributes to the growing rates of homelessness among LGBT youth. Once homeless, these youth experience greater physical and sexual exploitation than their heterosexual counterparts.

There are currently no programs specifically designed to meet the needs of gay and transgender homeless youth, and there are no protections in place to keep gay and transgender youth from being discriminated against while accessing homeless services.

LGBTTIQ Homelessness

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) individuals face a particular set of challenges, both in becoming homeless as well as when they are trying to avoid homelessness. LGBT persons face social stigma, discrimination, and often rejection by their families, which adds to the physical and mental strains/challenges that all homelessness persons must struggle with.

Frequently, homeless LGBT persons have great difficulty finding shelters that accept and respect them. LGBT individuals experiencing homelessness are often at a heightened risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation compared with their heterosexual peers. Transgender people are particularly at physical risk due to a lack of acceptance and are often turned away from shelters; in some cases signs have been posted barring their entrance.

  • According to the Williams Institute, 40% of the homeless youth served by agencies identify as LGBT

  • 43% of clients served by drop-in centers identified as LGBTT

  • 30% of street outreach clients identified as LGBT

  • 30% of clients utilizing housing programs identified as LGBT

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