New Project Helps LGBT Homeless In San Francisco


Project Homeless Connect has been a San Francisco institution for the past ten years, offering necessities like counseling, haircuts, and dental work to the homeless population who desperately needed it, but this past Monday they decided to do something different.

Inspired by the 29% of at-risk LGBT adults identified in the city’s biennial homeless count, the people behind Project Homeless Connect actively decided to reach out to the LGBT homeless community for the first time ever.  Through talking with LGBT clients and other volunteers, they found that being LGBT adds an extra layer of fear and frustration to being homeless, especially when seeking out help and services.

Most complained of experiencing bigotry and even physical violence from other homeless people, and of being afraid to ask for help, something San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee spoke to when discussing the goals of the LGBT outreach. “We will be doing some education in the shelters, just as we’ve done about dealing with women and children in the shelters. We need to educate people to be more sensitive and inclusive. We will work on this,” he said. “I’m saying to everyone — don’t walk away. Stay connected.”

While it may be a process to change the system, the LGBT Homeless Connect was a big success, drawing in 300 volunteers, 500 clients, and over 100 service providers. For client Rowan Chandler, a homeless unemployed library clerk that identifies as gay, it has come not a moment too soon. “Just being in a room with so many other homeless people who are like me is, well, I guess, nice,” Chandler said. “They’ve needed one of these things for a long time.”

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  • jeff4justice

    Great! However how pathetic is it that in a country with a so-called social safety-net, faith communities, so-called nonprofits, and all these celebs with “charities” that we half so much homelessness and half a nation in poverty!

    The concern about LGBT homelessness seems to be primarily limited to youth in large cities where the youth flock thinking it’s going to be some rainbow refuge and stand a good chance of winding exploited by a up sugar-daddy or bareback porn company.

    Then there’s some large LGBT centers that offer job boards and limited computer access. But heaven forbid you ask the 6-figure earning leaders for more help than that.

  • jeff4justice

    Also, how about Ed Lee getting his police state thugs to back the fuck off the homeless.

  • Ogre Magi

    @jeff4justice: I wish I could have gotten a sugar daddy

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