According to a study conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law, 40% of young people who experience homelessness in the country identify as LGBTQ+. But New Alternatives aims to reduce this number as much as possible by enabling homeless LGBTQ+ youth. Since 2008, they’ve helped transition LGBTQ+ individuals off the streets through an immense amount of programming, ranging from hunger prevention, to STI testing, to case management.
“In particular, we wanted to offer long-term case management - often case management is tied to housing and housing programs are often time-limited so youth wind up starting over and over with new case managers,” explained the nonprofit's director Kate Barnhart. “This doesn't allow for the development of trust that's necessary to work on deeper issues, such as trauma.”
Along with providing the essentials, New Alternatives offers creative writing and video programs for self expression. They also recently welcomed a new social worker to their team who will predominantly serve HIV+ clients — ensuring that even those with the most complex cases can get their needs met.
But they encourage homeless youth to reach out sooner rather than later if they’re in need.
“There are resources out there - take advantage of them! Don't wait, because there are fewer services as you get older,” explained Barnhart.
More information, and ways to donate, can be found on their website.