Third of young New York homeless are LGB

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Gay youth make up an inordinate amount of New York City’s homeless population according to the city’s first ever census of homeless youth.

It found that, of the nearly 4,000 young people under the age of 24 who go homeless each night in the city, nearly one-third identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

While many homeless youth found temporary shelter with a friend or a relative, some 1,600 reported spending nights on the street, in an abandoned building or in a bus or train.

Another 150 spent nights with clients while selling sex.

Three-fourths come from minority groups, with black youths accounting for nearly half the total and Latino youths representing a quarter, said the survey, released Friday.

The count was conducted in July and surveyed just under 1,000 youth who were either homeless or at risk for homelessness.

“Young people who are homeless take great care to look like everyone else.

“They’re unbelievably creative in their ability to find ways to make it look like they’re not homeless at all,” said Margo Hirsch, executive director of the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, according to a Reuters report.

Earlier this year, the New York City Department of Homeless Services reported that 3,755 New Yorkers of all ages, out of a total population of 8.2 million people, were living without shelter on any given night, down from 4,395 in 2005.

Duane Wells © 2007; All Rights Reserved.