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Toronto takes step to address LGBTQ youth homelessness

July 17, 2014

Toronto City Council has decided to examine the feasibility of providing more support for the needs of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans-People Queer (LGBTQ) community, after a 2013 survey indicated that 21 per cent of people in youth shelters identify as belonging to a sexual minority.

“…a 2013 survey indicated that 21 per cent of people in youth shelters identify as belonging to a sexual minority.

The proposal debated at city council includes providing all shelter employees anti-homophobia training and allocating 25 percent of beds in an existing youth shelter to young people who identify as LGBTQ2S.

The debate is an important reminder that due to the impact of stigma, discrimination and the social determinants of health, LGBTQ people can face socio-economic disadvantages including homelessness and can experience a higher risk of poor mental health.

CMHA Ontario has helped increase understanding and dialogue about equity issues and mental health in its report, Advancing Equity in Mental Health in Ontario: Understanding Key Concepts. CMHA Ontario has also produced a fact sheet about LGBTQ people and mental health.

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