24% of homeless young people identify as LGBTQ+. Around half of which lose their home due to their family rejection of their sexuality or gender identity and family breakdown. Sadly, young gay people are overrepresented in the homeless community: around 25% compared to 5% of LGBTQ+ people in the general population.
Moved by this shocking statistic and the risks young LGBTQ+ homeless people face, Freehold led by its co-chair, David Mann, joined other property networks to create Networks Against Homelessness and pledge to support LandAid in their mission to end youth homelessness, particularly among LGBTQ+ people. The aim of Networks Against Homelessness is to harness the collective membership of leading real estate and construction networks to work together to help LandAid achieve its aim to end youth homelessness. A launch event was held on the 11th December. The Networks are committing to work together to spread the word about LandAid’s mission and help raise funds, support their projects with pro-bono work and directly or indirectly through donations create homes for young people.
A project LandAid funded was YMCA Norfolk, that provides a safe home for 14 vulnerable young people. Including one young man called James…:
At just 16, after coming out to his dad, James felt living at home was no longer an option. After sofa-surfing with friends for a while, he turned to YMCA Norfolk for help. Two years later, James is now living in YMCA Norfolk’s move-on accommodation in Norwich. James is now working with his Engagement Worker as he prepares to move out into his own his own place – with support from Norfolk YMCA as he transitions to independent living.
Another example of how LandAid made difference was providing £5k to Albert Kennedy Trust via Emergency Covid Appeal. These funds were used to provide urgent support to young people who were facing immediate risks, either to their accommodation or physical and mental health and wellbeing in service centres in London, Bristol, Manchester, and Newcastle. LandAid also helped providing phones, laptops, and data for young people to communicate with staff, as well as to apply for jobs and have a means to still feel part of the LGBTQ+ community.
We invite our members and those of other networks to join this initiative and support LandAid in this mission.