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This year, we’ve reformed the Index to focus on unhoused youth and young adults (YYA), aligning it with their experiences and policy needs. Shifting from harm reduction to transformative change, some jurisdictions may see lower scores than before. This is a deliberate strategy, not a setback. Lower scores should motivate, not discourage, jurisdictions. They present an opportunity to adopt policies that effectively tackle and prevent youth homelessness, fostering meaningful progress.
Bathroom and Facilities Discrimination
People (specifically transgender, nonbinary, and intersex people) can use bathrooms and other facilities, including in K-12 schools, consistent with their gender identity
School climate is a potential protective factor for LGBTQ+ youth. Inclusive policies that address sexual orientation and gender identity and strong non-discrimination policies are linked to decreased truancy, improved mental health, and lower levels of harassment and assault based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender expression. Furthermore, schools that incorporate LGBTQ+ history and that address sexual/gender identity development in their curriculum see less bullying and harassment directed toward LGBTQ+ students and improved academic outcomes. Since youth without a high school diploma are 4.5 times more likely to experience homelessness later in life, it is imperative that schools implement policies that enable LGBTQ+ youth to succeed in school.
|Type of Policy
|No law found
|Jurisdiction has law or policy defining “sex” in ways that may impact transgender people’s access to bathrooms or facilities according to their gender identity
|Jurisdiction bans transgender people from using bathrooms and facilities consistent with their gender identity in K-12 schools
Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. "State Index on Youth Homelessness, Bathroom and Facilities Discrimination" https://youthstateindex.com/maps/bathroom-and-facilities-discrimination/. Accessed: February 24, 2024.
- Sports Discrimination
- LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Curricular Standards
- Outing Trans Youth to Parents
Explore Related Metrics
LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the most over-represented groups experiencing homelessness, comprising anywhere from 20-40% of all unhoused young people but less than 10% of the general population. Studies by Chapin Hall have found that unhoused LGBTQ+ young people had over twice the rate of early death compared to their peers and experienced higher levels of violence and exploitation while homeless. Laws that sanction discrimination against LGBTQ+ young people and that criminalize, dehumanize and erase non-binary and trans youth only exacerbate this crisis. We currently track harmful and violent laws, as well as laws protecting, celebrating, and honoring LGBTQ+ youth, as they relate to education or to accessing accurate identity documents. Eventually, we will track how well jurisdictions prioritize ending and preventing LGBTQ+ homelessness and whether homelessness services within that jurisdiction are tailored to meet the needs of these youth.
“People who disclose their identity are putting themselves at risk, to live their life as their authentic self. What does this mean for personal safety? Accessing resources can already be a challenge for trans and non-binary young people, and even more challenging to find affirming care and support.” – Diamond Dumas
Access to formal education is crucial for unhoused young people for a number of reasons. Education is often a gateway to essential services, secure housing, and stable finances. Education can provide critical thinking and other skill sets that are necessary, both personally and professionally, for adulthood. Education can provide a sense of purpose and belonging, which is important for unhoused young people who are isolated or disconnected from society, including care providers and their peers.
“What I needed most was a clean space (uncluttered), a place to eat meals, transportation to and from school and activities. I did not have places to study. I have always been a high achieving student without the physical and mental space to fully feel safe and supported.” – Makayla Dawkins
(racism, ableism, anti-trans/queerness, etc.)
Anti-oppression is an essential component of creating a just and equitable society. It is crucial to acknowledge the systemic oppression faced by marginalized communities, including racism, ableism, anti-trans/queerness, and other forms of oppression. In the context of housing, these oppressions manifest in various ways, such as discriminatory rental practices, inaccessible housing for people with disabilities, and harassment and violence against marginalized communities.
To combat these injustices, it is essential to implement anti-oppressive policies and practices in the housing sector. This includes creating inclusive housing policies that prioritize the needs of marginalized communities, providing accessible housing for people with disabilities, and addressing discrimination and harassment through legal measures. By prioritizing anti-oppression in housing, we can create a more just and equitable society where everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of their identity or background.