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LGBTQ2S Barriers to Employment and Training
Training and employment programs for people experiencing homelessness should consider exacerbating factors.
- lack of a permanent address
- lack of access to bathing and nutritional resources
- physical and mental health concerns
- challenges with addictions
- 77% of homeless youth are unemployed
- 57-64% of homeless youth drop out of school
- 65% fail to finish high school
Many LGBQT2S youth could benefit from inclusive skills-based training, such as job readiness, money management, cooking, etc. Securing employment can be especially difficult for LGBTQ2S youth who are street-involved or homeless, due to ageism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, etc. LGBTQ2S youth may experience limited access to employment and housing, due to social exclusion.
Homeless youth may engage in "informal" economic activities, quasi-legal activities, or criminal acts:
- sex work
- drug dealing
Trans youth experience additional challenges when trying to secure employment
- unable to safely access workplace restroom facilities on the basis of gender identity
- transphobia makes it difficult, if not impossible, to successfully perform one's job
- legal name and ID may not match gender expression, name or pronouns
What can shelters and support services do to help
- ensure that all frontline staff receive LGBTQ2S cultural competency training
- ensure that shelters are LGBTQ2S safe, affirming, and inclusive
- assist trans youth with legal name and sex marker changes, if desired
Gaetz, S. & O’Grady, B. (2002). Making Money: Exploring the Economy of Young Homeless Workers. Work, Employment and Society 16: 433-456.
Gaetz, S., O’Grady, B., & Buccieri, K. (2010). Surviving crime and violence: Street youth and victimization in Toronto. Toronto: Homeless Hub.
Gaetz, S. & O’Grady, B. (2013).Why don’t you just get a job? Homeless youth, social exclusion and employment training. Youth Homelessness in Canada. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.
LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness in Canada Infographic Links
Download Complete set of Infographics
» LGBTQ2S Barriers to Employment and Training
Our Fostering an Inclusive Shelter Environment for LGBTQ2S Youth curriculum and infographics were developed in collaboration with Dr. Alex Abramovich and A Way Home, a national coalition dedicated to preventing, reducing and ending youth homelessness in Canada. Development of this new resource has been generously supported by TD Bank and The City of Toronto.