The following article by the Network has been provided as our educational contribution to LGBT History Month 2021 to Bournemouth & Poole College, appearing in its February 2021 e-Newsletter. We want to thank College Principal Ms Diane Granellfor her fulsome support for the articke and initiative, and also Mr Lloyd Perry, BPC Head of Student Support for his deeply appreciated encouragement and support.
Engaging with and providing awareness-raising and multi-agency support for our BCP area LGBT+ Homeless community – article provided for staff and students of Bournemouth & Poole College for LGBT HM 2021:
Approximately 24% of the younger homeless population are LGBT or who are on route to self-identifying as LGBT+ (image above from the Albert Kennedy Trust [AKT] whose important work in this field is cited and referred to in this article).
At the Network we regard History Month as an important opportunity to educate to build a better tomorrow: LGBT+ community homelessness is one of the most important subjects to inform the broader population of as it informs about the purpose of History Month. We believe all sections of the College community will benefit from the content of this article!
The searing video and two sample comments below, and BBC news article, give a powerful introduction of the need for action, multi-agency support, awareness raising and signposting initiative for the BCP area the Network has developed, and is announced here through this article with our friends at the College. This because those most vulnerable to this blight on our society typically are found in the FE/college age range, with awareness at BPC especially valued.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4D-3eOcjKw … comments from video viewers:
‘…Honestly I just feel AWFUL this happens to good people. Why does it matter SO much that being gay is how you should treat others? No one in the LGTBQ community deserves this. I have friends who are part of this community and they’re my best friends. I don’t care who they love, I just care about their personality. …’ ‘… I hope their “parents” are ashamed of themselves. They are disgusting! I’m a parent and would stick by my child no matter what.’
‘LGBT and homeless: ‘I was told to contact my abusive dad’ Source:https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/2d6a278d-f279-41dd-a4d2-0ceea2882ade
In this case we felt that it was particularly important to prioritise profiling this subject, publicly for the first time with our friends at BPC, because of the Network initiative on support and signposting for our LGBT+ homeless community, which through this article is announced, relates to prevention as much as remedy approaches for those of our community already in the homeless trap: college age groups being particularly important to raise awareness with. We will provide more news in the coming weeks on our, badly needed initiative.
The initiative being seen as educational, social competence and good citizenship skills supporting, but particularly valuable on safety and safeguarding levels of preventative kinds.
The story of LGB and T homelessness stretches back throughout modern history in the UK, coming to greater prominence in recent decades, and especially the past few years.
Science, research, and especially the combined wholesome effects of UK Law (Equal Marriage, etc.), public opinion, social media provided information and lived experience information have progressively combined to build from the early 2000’s seen a new, Humanity & Fairness mature values informed change in the UK and growing numbers of other countries where LGBT+ community Respect and Inclusion are concerned. Nevertheless, this blight on society continues in multiple forms, one of the most brutal is LGBT+ homelessness, and ‘sofa surfing’ ‘hidden homelessness.’
Bournemouth in particular has one of the largest homeless populations in the UK, and also historically one of the largest LGBT+ populations in the country. Nevertheless, until now, LGBT History Month 2021, the Network has found that only a multiagency approach, developed by our community, by the Network, is going to be able to make the change we all need to see.
We already have secured NHS support of the right kind, and that with other relevant key solutions-orientated stakeholders, which is why we, through this awareness raising article emphasise just how important a part the College itself is in this developing multiagency approach.
LGBT+ Hidden Homelessness: our LGBT+ Community has within its considerable homeless population, a proportion known as the ‘hidden homeless,’ who commonly are constrained to what is called ‘sofa surfing’ which has a range of dangers from sexual abuse including rape, to entrapment in drugs culture that in some cases surpass even rough sleeping. We share this excerpt and link below for staff and students at the college awareness:
LGBTQ People Are 14 Times More Likely to Be Homeless Than Straight People in the UK — Almost 80% say coming out to their parents was the main reason they lost their homes.
LONDON, Aug 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Soon after coming out as gay to his family, 16-year-old Samuel slept over at a friend’s house one night and never returned home, preferring to live with drug dealers, under archways and sofa-surfing than feel excluded at home.
We all have a responsibility for supporting our LGBT+ homeless communities and Community members at risk of Homelessness due to prejudice related hate and ignorance, and, until now lack of multiagency ‘safety net, safeguarding, information and signposting’ support. We can Now, and must All play our part!
Support for Community members: if you feel the topics covered by this article could relate to you or to friends or family members, support does exist, in providing on a completely Confidential basis any concerns or experiences you have for yourself or others. Students with any worries or concerns will need to contact our Wellbeing Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone 01202 205764.
Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) – signposting support by the nationally recognised lead LGBT+ Homelessness community support charity: you can contact AKT (Bristol office) on General enquiries: 07721166161, and Referrals: 07467306483. Email: email@example.com