[infographic] LGBTQ2S Safe, Inclusive and Affirming Shelter Spaces

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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

Prevention planning

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 Youth Homelessness in Canada

Youth Homelessness Research Findings

Trans and Non-Binary Youth Accessing Shelters

» LGBTQ2S Safe, Inclusive and Affirming Shelter Spaces

LGBTQ2S Barriers to Employment and Training

Top 10 Reasons Homeless Youth Struggle to Find Employment

Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Slurs

LGBTQ2S Youth Suicide

Types of Housing Models/Programs

Family Conflict and Family Reconnection

Improving Intake Processes for LGBTQ2S Youth

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.