BeLonG To, the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) young people, has partnered with Focus Ireland and UCD to create the first dedicated study of LGBTI+ youth homelessness in Ireland.
The topics to be covered within the research are: triggers to homelessness, experiences of front-line homelessness including sofa-surfing, experience of support services, obstacles to housing and ideas for solutions.
With youth homelessness, especially among LGBTI+ people ever increasing, the study could not come at a better time. A recent GCN opinion piece spoke of how young LGBT+ people trapped in a situation of emotional and physical abuse at home may find leaving the family home is the best option and how LGBT+ young people seem to be over-represented on the streets.
The organisers have put out a call asking for individuals aged between 18 and 26 years who identify as LGBTI+ and have experienced homelessness who would be willing to partake in anonymous, confidential interviews.
Dr Aideen Quilty, of UCD’s School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, who will conduct the interviews, said: “This is one of the most important studies undertaken with young LGBTQI+ young people in Ireland. The voices we need to hear are those of the young people themselves. To understand homelessness in all its forms we must listen to their stories. Only then can we respond effectively and really campaign for change.”
For the basis of the study, the organisers hope to speak to people who have experienced any of the following circumstances: recently exiting homelessness, having lived in hidden homelessness (including sofa surfing), and/or accessed emergency homeless services.
The interviews will be conducted on a one to one basis at a time and a place that suits the participant. If you would like to take part or want to find out more, get in touch with Dr Quilty by phone (01) 7168573 or email [email protected].
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