Tackling LGBTQ Homelessness: The Brave Heart Foundation

21st Jun 2019

Lack of affordable housing means that many people are one paycheck away from homelessness. A sudden illness, job loss, aging out of foster care, or the end of a relationship put many people out on the street. Young, single people are especially at-risk.

This interactive simulation does an amazing job putting you in the shoes of a young person facing homelessness, and the consequences of the many seemingly small decisions you may be faced with. Take a few minutes to go through it. It took me several tries before I could even make it through one night. It was a very sobering, eye- opening experience for me.

40% of the homeless youth in our country identify as LGBTQ. While increased social acceptance has encouraged young people to come out earlier; family rejection and/or abuse means many end up homeless. Family conflict, aging out of foster care and poverty are the main reasons that the rate of homelessness is so high for the LGBTQ population in general.

In the Pittsburgh area, The Brave Heart Foundation offers a safe place for homeless LGBTQ young adults, providing the emotional support and overall care needed for a healthy transition into adulthood. They empower homeless LGBTQ youth to reach their full potential -regardless of past barriers- through a variety of support programs that are designed to provide resources and access to education, medical care, emotional support, health and well- being, and career support. Check out their website for ways to support their organization!

If you have a loved one who has recently come out, or just want to know how to be an ally to the LGBTQ community, check out the Human Rights Campaign’s Straight Guide to LGTB Americans.

Additional resources

In the Pittsburgh Area:

Pittsburgh Equality Center 412-422-0114
Provides LGBT individuals, their families, and supporters with resources and opportunities to promote visibility, understanding, and equality within the LGBT communities and the community at large through education, social support, networking, and advocacy

Persad Center 412-441-9786
Works to improve the well-being of LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities through a variety of outreach, prevention, counseling, advocacy, and training services

PFLAG Pittsburgh 412-833-4556
Promotes the health and well-being of LGBT persons, their families, and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights

Project Silk A space for black and Latino LGBT community

Metro Family Practice Serves the un-insured, under-insured, HIV positive, and the GLBT residents of the region. Offers health care to all people, at every stage of life, without regard to their ability to pay. Cares for the whole person in a safe and respectful setting


National LGBTQ Task Force
Creates change by building LGBT political power from the ground up, bolstering the strength of local LGBT activism in rural enclaves, small towns, and cities nationwide

GLAAD–Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Works directly with news media, entertainment media, cultural institutions, and social media to lead the conversation for LGBT equality and changing the culture

Trevor Project
Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people ages 13-24

GLSEN–Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Works to ensure safe schools for ALL students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity

Crisis Text Line
Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Every texter is connected with a Crisis Counselor, a real-life human being trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem solving. All of the Crisis Counselors are volunteers, donating their time to helping people in crisis.