The Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act, introduced yesterday by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), includes a variety of provisions to combat youth homelessness and support youth in the foster care system. It also calls for the development of resources to protect LGBT youth — who are disproportionately impacted by homelessness — by improving family acceptance.
Homelessness is only one of the many symptoms LGBT youth suffer from family rejection. The Family Acceptance Project has been producing groundbreaking research about both the short-term and long-term benefits when families support their LGBT youth. For example, family acceptance can be a determining factor for a young person’s likelihood to attempt suicide or engage in illegal drug use:
While Kerry’s bill would do a lot of important good to fight youth homelessness, it could very well save the lives of LGBT youth.
Kerry’s bill has two co-sponsors, Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Begich (D-AK), and Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-NV) is expected to introduce companion legislation in the House soon.