Politics

Survey: One-Third of San Francisco Homeless Population Identifies as LGBTQ

| by Emily Smith
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A San Francisco Human Services Agency survey revealed on Friday that nearly one-third of the city’s population identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ).

According to The Huffington Post, this is the first time in the survey’s history that it has asked respondents to identify their sexual orientation, which drew from 6,436 responses.

The HSA and the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA, have both estimated a high LGBTQ population in the past, though this study is the first to measure the groups’ hypothesis.

"It's great to finally have these numbers," said Coalition on Homelessness Executive Director Jennifer Friedenbach. "What we get from this is that homelessness is a queer issue."

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Friedenbach added that San Francisco’s homeless recovery system is not gay-friendly and cited a statistic that transgender people are three times more likely than straight people to experience abuse in a homeless shelter.

Homelessness applies especially to LGBTQ youth, according to executive director of the Haight Ashbury Youth Alliance Mary Howe. Howe noted that many homeless youth identify with the LGBTQ community because they have opened up to their families and been thrown out of the house because of it.

Sources: The Huffington Post, CBS News