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City Council Approves Resolution Requesting Funding Allocation for Homeless LGBTQ Teens and Youth Exiting Foster Care

Post Date:10/02/2017 6:09 PM

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Ave. SW
Atlanta, GA  30303 

CONTACT:
Dexter M. Chambers
Council Communications Director
dchambers@atlantaga.gov - Email
(404) 330-6309-Direct / (404) 392-0159-Cell

 October 2, 2017

City Council Approves Resolution Requesting Funding Allocation for Homeless LGBTQ Teens and Youth Exiting Foster Care

ATLANTA – The Atlanta City Council approved a resolution requesting Invest Atlanta appropriate a percentage of funding from the Homeless Opportunity Project to be used for housing interventions for homeless Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) teens and young adults exiting foster care. 

The Homeless Opportunity Project funds include $26 million from the City of Atlanta and $25 million in matching funds from the United Way.  The investment will create 254 housing interventions for homeless youth.

“This legislation speaks to the importance of addressing homelessness in the Atlanta community,” said City Council President Ceasar Mitchell. “The City of Atlanta and the United Way are setting the example for the region and the nation on how we can work together to eliminate or greatly reduce homelessness in Atlanta.”   

Councilmember Alex Wan co-sponsored the legislation. “I am proud to have worked with the Council President in addressing the needs of homeless members of the LGBTQ community and those aging out of the foster care system, said Wan. “Too often, these populations are alienated from family and immediate shelter is not always an option.”

According to The Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, LGBTQ teens and young adults who are homeless are exceptionally vulnerable from a social services perspective. The Institute estimates that nearly forty percent (40%) of homeless youth are LGBTQ.

In 2015, students from Georgia State and Emory Universities counted homeless youth ages 14 to 25 living with the city limits, and found that a vast majority of youth are African-American (71%) and male (60.5%), and found that over a quarter of the group identified as LGBTQ.

As for youth aging out of foster care, approximately 25,000 youth exit the foster care system annually before being reunified with their family of origin, being adopted, or achieving another permanent living arrangement. These youths often have limited resources with which to secure safe and stable housing, which leaves them at heightened risk of experiencing homelessness, according to a report from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research.

As part of Monday’s resolution, Invest Atlanta is also asked to report to the Finance/Executive Committee within 60 days upon the issuance of bond funding to detail how that funding is appropriated for housing intervention.

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