June is Pride Month, an annual celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community focusing on sexual and gender diversities. At St Mungo’s, there are many reasons why promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamentally important for us. The people we support are more likely to experience disadvantage and discrimination, including those who identify as LGBTQIA+.
In this blog, we look at the link between LGBTQIA+ communities and homelessness, as well as how we support people.
What is the link between LGBTQIA+ people and homelessness?
Many LGBTQIA+ people still experience discrimination and bigotry and this can have an effect on home environments. This can result in them needing to leave home, sometimes without anywhere to go. As much as 24% of young people who are at risk of homelessness are LGBTQIA+ (Akt, 2015).
Data from the charity Akt shows that many young LGBTQIA+ people experiencing homelessness aren’t aware of what services are available to support them, or are worried about experiencing discrimination in those services.
Their 2021 report shows that 50% of young people fear that expressing their identity may end in being made to leave home. Before becoming homeless, 61% felt frightened or intimidated by family members.
How does St Mungo’s help support LGBTQIA+ individuals?
At St Mungo’s, we make sure our services are informed about LGBTQIA+ issues, and are welcoming to everyone regardless of sexual or gender identity.
When referring people to our different kinds of accommodation, we assess whether that environment is right for them, including any support needs they might have, and what will make them feel most safe. Sometimes, single gender places are the best fit for the people we’re supporting, and in these cases we always make sure that people go to the accommodation that best fits their gender identity, unless they request otherwise.
Our staff are trained on LGBTQIA+ issues, and we continually assess and consider the experience of our clients through feedback forms and services.
How does St Mungo’s support and welcome LGBTQIA+ staff?
Stonewall has also awarded St Mungo’s a prestigious Gold Award, which celebrates organisations that go above and beyond to empower LGBTQIA+ staff members to be themselves at work.
For the great inclusion work achieved by our LGBTQIA+ Network, St Mungo’s has also received a Highly Commended Network Group award.