“Last night I presented at the Human Rights Campaign Clergy Call in Washington DC on LGBTQ Homeless Youth with Jeff Krehely, Director of LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress and André Wade, Program and Policy Analyst at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Jeff and André outlined the policy issues that currently affect LGBT homeless youth and I talked about ways that pastors and congregations can listen to, interact with and advocate for homeless youth in ethically and faithfully responsible ways.
Jeff and André shared alarming facts and stats that are compelling. I was shocked to learn that the US only spends $200 per homeless youth each year, which is supposed to pay for their education, housing and reconnect them with healthy families. Yet, this amount doesn’t even cover their food needs. They also talked about their work with Sen. Kerry, who for the first time is introducing a bill that earmarks funds for LGBT youth.
These faith leaders represented millions of parishioners, members of denominations and individuals whom they’d prayed with and for. Some of the most moving pleas at the press conference were calls to end the funerals that pastors had been doing for gay youth who falsely believed they had no other options. Leaders urged congress to pass the Safe Schools and Anti-bullying Acts that could provide nationwide support for these youth.