In September, we partnered with Focus Ireland and University College Dublin to launch the first-ever qualitative study of LGBTI+ youth homelessness in Ireland. The study set out, for the first time, to give voice to the topic of LGBTI+ youth homelessness in Ireland.
The research shares the experience of 22 young LGBTI+ people who have experienced homelessness in Ireland. The research study was carried out by Professor Michelle Norris and Dr Aideen Quilty of University College Dublin. It involved interviews with young homeless people who identified as LGBT+ and policymakers in the homeless sector.
Key findings from the report indicated that LGBTI+ young people experience all the interpersonal and familial problems of the young population-at-large and have a range of other challenges associated with their sexuality and gender identity. Many young LGBTI+ people without a home avoid homeless services and live in a precarious world of ‘sofa surfing’ with friends and acquaintances.
The study made a series of recommendations, prominently that the Youth Homelessness Strategy, committed to in the Programme for Government 2020, should include a ‘homelessness prevention’ pillar with specific reference to the particular risks and pathways into homelessness which LGBTI+ youth are likely to experience. The report also proposed a range of measures that would reduce the risk of young LGBTI+ people becoming homeless in the first place and make homeless services more accessible and supportive for young LGBTI+ homeless people. Since the publication of the report, we have been advocating for LGBTI+ young people who are homeless through our work with the LGBTI+ Youth Homelessness Working Group.