Today the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center was awarded a landmark .3 million, five-year grant from the Federal Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Administration on Children, Youth and Families to create a model program that will provide life-saving support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the foster care system. Following a highly competitive review process, six grants were awarded—the Center’s grant is the only one specifically to support LGBTQ youth and the only grant that did not go to a government agency or academic institution. It’s also the largest federal grant ever awarded to an LGBT organization.
The need for services for LGBT youth in foster care is dire. According to a 2001 (Feinstein) study, 78% of LGBTQ foster youth were forced to leave their foster placements due to hostility related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. In a 2001 study from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, 70% reported physical violence and 100% reported harassment in their group home. Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS), the only group home for LGBTQ foster youth in Los Angeles, closed its doors in 2008 (with its displaced residents turning to the Center for much-needed support).
Stand by for the wingnut screaming. Which will be delicious.