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Kansas City Homeless Shelter Refuses To House Married Same-Sex Couples Together

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A Kansas City homeless shelter says it won't house same-sex couples together even if they're legally married in the state of Missouri.

The 90-year-old City Union Mission, in the heart of downtown Kansas City, provides shelter to up to 550 people every night, including families and children.

Dan Doty, City Union Mission's executive director, told The Kansas City Star that the shelter's board has had discussions about housing same-sex couples together over the years but has decided to "stay true to our biblical convictions."

Doty“I knew this day would come, especially when the media would begin asking that question,” Doty said, deeply concerned about what effect the nonprofit’s decision could have on its broad community support and donations. “I truly hope you understand the can of worms this could open.

“…We are a Christian, faith-based organization that really does adhere to biblical standards. Our view is that it (same-sex marriage) is inappropriate. Our intent is not to shelter same-sex couples together.”

The article explains that because City Union Mission is a religiously affiliated organization that receives no government funding, it is not bound by nondiscrimination laws. Doty said City Union Mission will house gays and lesbians individually, but requires transgender people to dress according to their birth sex when they're in the facility.

Same-sex couples who want to be housed together will be referred to other facilities. Representatives from local Salvation Army and Catholic Charities shelters told The Star they will house married same-sex couples together, while another shelter in Topeka said it's still undecided on the issue.

In related news, KSHB Channel 4 reported last week that City Union Mission is facing a $300,000 budget shortfall and is banking on a generous holiday giving season to make up for the deficit. 

But after Sunday's story in The Star about City Union Mission's decision not to house same-sex couples together, the shelter probably shouldn't count on getting much help from the LGBT community or its supporters. 

"So, you discriminate against gays now," Chris Jozwiak wrote on the shelter's Facebook page. "Sounds fine. You'll be doing so without support of my friends and family moving forward. And I'll make sure and pass on the news as often and loudly as possible so others join me. Jesus didn't stop and question people about who they loved before he helped them. You're apparently not worthy."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article3971676.html#storylink=cthat because

LGBT Youth Face Significant Challenges In Foster Care

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In 2012 the Williams Institute, UCLA’s national think tank, published a study estimating that up to 40% of homeless youths (minors between the ages of 12-17) identified themselves as LGBT. An overwhelming 68% of participants in the study reported having experienced rejection from their families and about 54% were abused as a result of their being LGBT. Moreover, over 80% of the respondents to the study were racial minorities.

More often than not, queer youth across the country make a disproportionate percentage of cities’ homeless populations. Despite that fact many cities, like the District of Columbia, suspect rely on statistical reporting methods that are likely underreporting the actual numbers. Most of the research being done on the makeup of homeless youth populations relies on numbers reported by adoption networks that queer kids are avoiding.

In a study published earlier this week the Williams Institute found that on average, LGBT adoptees were twice as likely to experience poor treatment within the foster care system as compared to their straight-identified peers. Similar to D.C., LA is dealing with an incredibly large homeless queer youth problem and a dangerous shortage on shelters to house the population. The study, according to chief executive of the Los Angeles LGBT Center Lorri L. Jean [pictured below], is the first of many steps necessary to draw attention to a group of at-risk people that are generally invisible.

Jean"We need to know who these kids are because only if we know who they are can we help them," she told the LA Times. "People refer to it as the 'dirty little secret' that there are so many LGBTQ kids in foster care, but nobody's been able to document it."

In addition to publishing statistics that could better inform the ways in which public resources could be better allocated to service the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans youths within Los Angeles,  the authors of the study hope to spread awareness within the youth community that they are not alone.


San Francisco's Massive LGBT Homeless Population Gets Big Assist from LGBTQ Connect: VIDEO

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On October 7, organizers held the first LGBTQ Connect, an event to help the city's LGBT homeless population at the San Francisco LGBT Center.

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In an eye-opening film, filmmaker Marc Smolowitz highlight's the city's homeless problem and the ways that The Mayor's Office of HOPE, Project Homeless Connect, and AIDS Housing Alliance are helping them.

Watch the short film, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Assisted by sponsorships from Metta Fund, Sass Social Justice Fund of Horizons Foundation, Dignity Fund, Haas, Jr. Foundation, 80 service agencies came together to connect the city's homeless LGBT with organizations that can help them.

Important to think about, especially as we celebrate Thanksgiving.

You can find out how to volunteer at Project Homeless Connect. No word on when the next LGBTQ-specific connect will be held but you can follow on their Facebook page.

Watch the short film, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "San Francisco's Massive LGBT Homeless Population Gets Big Assist from LGBTQ Connect: VIDEO" »


New Trailer for 'Pier Kids: The Life,' the Documentary About NYC's Homeless LGBT Youth of Color: VIDEO

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Last month, we previewed Pier Kids: The Life, the Kickstarter-funded documentary centered on the struggles of LGBT homeless youth of color in New York City.

In preparation for the launching of the Kickstarter campaign on November 1st, a new teaser trailer has been released. Here is the video's description:

Pier Kids: The Life examines the legacy of Stonewall and the Gay Rights Movement it ignited by following the lives of DeSean, Krystal, and Casper, three gay and transgender youth of color who, after being pushed out of their home because of their sexuality, have become homeless on the same street the riots took place more than forty years ago.

Nearly 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT, according to a report conducted last year.

Watch the teaser trailer, AFTER THE JUMP... 

(via joe.my.god)

Continue reading "New Trailer for 'Pier Kids: The Life,' the Documentary About NYC's Homeless LGBT Youth of Color: VIDEO" »


Powerful Short Film Paints Stark Picture of What LGBT Youth Encounter When Families Reject Them: VIDEO

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Jamie Foxx, Elton John, Lisa Vanderpump, Lisa Ling, David Furnish, James Woods, and Bruno Tonioli appear in a short film from the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center that paints a stark picture of what an LGBT youth might go through during the first week he or she is rejected from their home.

Watch "Any Given Tuesday", AFTER THE JUMP...

The Center tells us:

Young writer/director Trent Kendrick and producer Michael Fossat were so inspired by their tour of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center—and so touched by the plight of the many homeless LGBT youth the Center serves—that they developed and produced this short film to heighten awareness and promote support for the Center.

Filmmaker Roland Emmerich, one of the Center’s largest donors, is hosting the film's debut at a benefit dinner this Saturday night, Oct. 19. Co-hosts of the event include Bryan Lourd, David Geffen, Jane Lynch, Amy Pascal, Ryan Murphy and Dustin Lance-Black.

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Continue reading "Powerful Short Film Paints Stark Picture of What LGBT Youth Encounter When Families Reject Them: VIDEO" »


New Doc 'Pier Kids: The Life' Examines the Struggle of NYC's Homeless LGBT Youth of Color: VIDEO

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After his own 10 year battle with homelessness, first-time director Elegance Bratton decided to create a documentary about the unique plight of black LGBT homeless youth in New York City. That film, "Pier Kids: The Life," focuses on the lives of three 'pier kids' - youth who are both queer and forced onto the street. According to Out magazine:

The name originates from the youth population that congregates along Christoper Street in New York City's Greenwich Village and the surrounding piers during the nights and weekends. As many may be aware (but ignore), some of them sell their bodies for money, some of them are strung out on dope; all of them are treated unequally by a society that refuses to accept them, and refuses to help them.

Nearly 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT, according to a report conducted last year. 

Watch the debut trailer for "Pier Kids: The Life" AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Doc 'Pier Kids: The Life' Examines the Struggle of NYC's Homeless LGBT Youth of Color: VIDEO" »


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