A new online map launched by the Los Angeles City Controller's Office highlights dozens of organizations in Southern California that provide housing, health resources, education programs, scholarships, legal services, nutrition assistance and other services to homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth.
"The homelessness crisis gripping our region spans the spectrum of age, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation and expression, but is particularly difficult for LGBTQ youth," City Controller Ron Galperin said Wednesday. "That is why I believe it is so critical to connect LGBTQ youth with social services and community resources, not just to get them the assistance they need today but to put them on a path toward a better future."
The controller noted that the latest homeless count released Tuesday found that at least 8,900 people age 24 and under experience homelessness in Los Angeles County on any given night. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, according to local estimates cited by Galperin's office.
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The LGBTQ Resource Map -- which can be accessed at www.lacontroller.org/lgbtqresourcemap -- was created in partnership with the L.A. LGBT Youth Advocates Coalition and the Los Angeles chapter of PFLAG, a support organization for LGBTQ people.
"In Los Angeles, LGBTQ youth can be isolated. Finding friends and services can be difficult. The LGBTQ Resource Map gives them a means to connect and seek crucial aid," said Steve Krantz, a PFLAG Los Angeles board member and L.A. LGBT Youth Advocates Coalition founder.
Galperin said the interactive map can be used by anyone in the L.A. area in need of services, but is aimed specifically at aiding LGBTQ youth, who often face additional challenges related to their sexual or gender identity.