Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin on Thursday released a resource hub for the city's LGBTQ+ community and compiled national data that found the rate of serious financial problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic was higher during the last year for LGBTQ+ households compared to non-LGBTQ+ households.
Galperin, who was the first openly gay official elected to citywide office in Los Angeles, reported that 66% of the U.S.' LGBTQ+ households surveyed by the Movement Advancement Project experienced serious financial problems due to the pandemic, while only 44% of non-LGBTQ+ households reported serious financial problems due to the pandemic. Additionally, 20% of LGBTQ+ households reported food insecurity, while only 6% of non-LGBTQ+ households experienced food insecurity.
"The pandemic swept millions of Americans into unemployment as businesses closed their doors here and across the country,'' said Galperin.
"The impact was particularly acute for LGBTQ+ individuals and families, who suffered higher rates of job loss, food insecurity and financial hardship. During this Pride month, as we celebrate the community's historic achievements in the struggle for equality, we must also look at ways to better address issues of equity for the most vulnerable among us.''
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Galperin also said that 65% of LGBTQ+ households reported employment loss during the pandemic, compared to 45% of non-LGBTQ+ households. He raised concern that the LGBTQ+ community faces an increased risk of homelessness, especially as eviction moratoriums are set to expire.
"Even before COVID-19 upended so many lives, transgender and gender nonconforming people were at an especially high risk for housing insecurity, and as many as one-third have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives,'' Galperin's report states.
Galperin released an online tool to:
- honor the history of Los Angeles' LGBTQ+ community, including with 10 historical locations, such as Jewel's Catch One, the first exclusively gay and lesbian disco for Black people in the U.S.;
- highlight priorities in the struggle for equality and equity, including information about initiatives aimed at stopping anti-transgender legislation;
- and maps of service organizations in Los Angeles that provide housing, health resources, education programs, legal help and nutrition assistance to homeless and at-risk youth.
The online platform can be accessed here.