Four Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered young people in central Arkansas will have a chance to move in to a group house and receive life skills training through a donated home. Lucie’s Place, which provides services for homeless LGBT youth is launching its first residence for young adults in Little Rock this fall.
Penelope Poppers says while there’s relatively little data on homeless LGBT, especially in the south, more LGBT teens are forced out of their homes and their lives on the street are especially hard.
“LGBT homeless folks are more likely to utilize survival sex, to abuse alcohol, to be assaulted…” she said. “All the worst things that could happen to a person, they’re happening more to LGBT youth and young adults, compared to their homeless, heterosexual peers.”
She says the young adults will live with a residential advisor in the two-bedroom home and receive life skills training while they plan next steps.
“Folks will live for up to a year as they learn and develop all the skills necessary for their future independence: budgeting skills, cooking skills, just general household chores, things like that. And they will obtain employment,” said Poppers.
Another local homeless organization, The One, donated the house to Lucie’s Place, which is awaiting word for a larger grant to open an eight-person house for homeless LGBT teens.
Poppers says the organization currently serves about 70 people a year and demand is growing.