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LGBTQ2S Safe, Inclusive and Affirming Shelter Spaces
Main recommendations for shelter providers
A large part of the solution involves shifting and transforming the culture of the shelter system and support services, so that the entire system is safe for everyone accessing it.
Shelters and support services need to be equipped with appropriate resources learning tools, and posters on the walls (such as information about sexual and gender identity, information about coming out as LGBTQ2S), so that queer and trans youth see themselves reflected in all aspects of programs; from intake forms; to the messages on the walls; to the fliers in the lobby.
Emergency and longer-term housing options have been hugely successful in the U.S.
Programs for LGBTQ2S youth that foster an intersectional approach
Support the development and delivery of culturally-specific programming for LGBTQ2S youth. These programs should provide cultural connectedness and access to cultural traditions and practices, including; newcomer/immigrant LGBTQ2S youth; LGBTQ2S youth of colour; two-spirit Indigenous youth.
Develop a standardized model of care
- inclusive intake forms and processes
- all shelters should be equipped with appropriate resources and learning tools
- creating an accessible and anonymous method for youth to lodge formal complaints
Consideration of the physical environment of services
- private and semi-private rooms with washrooms
- all-gender washrooms
Emphasize strategies for early intervention, awareness raising, and programs for children, youth and families.
Abramovich, A. (2015). A Focused Response to Prevent and End LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness. Prepared for the Government of Alberta.
Abramovich. A. (2014). Young, Queer and Trans, Homeless, and Besieged: A Critical Action Research Study of How Policy and Culture Create Oppressive Conditions for LGBTQ Youth in Toronto’s Shelter System. University of Toronto.
LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness in Canada Infographic Links
Download Complete set of Infographics
» LGBTQ2S Safe, Inclusive and Affirming Shelter Spaces
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.