The city of Amsterdam wants to improve the situation of homeless LGTBQI young people. To find out what specific problems these young people face the city starts a study. It hopes to find out if the city needs to provide specific support for them. To get the best results former homeless LGBTQI young people do the interviews.
Young LGBTQI people more homeless
The city has awarded research company Movisie the contract to do the research. During this research the young LGBTQI people themselves will be interviewed. In that way Movisie and the city hope to hear from first hand experience what support the young people are looking for.
Studies in France, the UK and Canada show that young LGBTQI people take up a large proportion in the homeless population. They often make up an unusual high percentage of between 25 till 40 percent of the young homeless population. If that percentage is also true for The Netherlands, than there would be around 1100 young LGBTQI people who are homeless. And as the (gay) capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam houses many of these youngsters.
Small social network
LGTBQI young people leave their homes on average twice more often than straight young people. They often leave their house or get kicked out of house, because their families have issues with their sexuality. But that are not the only issues they face.
In a press release, the city of Amsterdam states that the research is urgent because young LGTBQI people often have show to have more psychological issues and a tendency to have more drugs problems. “These two issues contribute to homelessness. A good social network helps young people to overcome these problem. But young, homeless LGBTQI people often have a very small or no social network.”
Former homeless LGTBQI young people as researchers
To approach the young LGBTQI people living on the street Movisie calls in the help of people who know what it is to live on the street. They train twelve former homeless LGTBQI youngsters. Those twelve people will go out on the street to interview the young homeless LGBTQI people. Experience shows that this kind of research gets better results. ” The young people living on the street open up more willingly towards people who have shared their own experience”.
Early 2018 the results of the interviews will be shared with professionals in focus groups. In those talks specific measures for supporting the homeless LGBTQI young people will be discussed. They will be part of the new LGBTQI policy of the city of Amsterdam after next years council elections.