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Here are the charities leading the fight against LGBTQ+ homelessness in the UK

LGBTQ+ people make up almost a quarter of the country’s homeless youth population. These are the charities offering support.

LGBTQ+ people, particularly LGBTQ+ youth, are experiencing worryingly high levels of homelessness across the UK.

Data collected by LGBTQ+ homeless charity AKT suggests that almost a quarter of young people aged 16 to 25 at risk of homelessness identify as either lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or non-binary. This is despite the fact that only 6.6 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds identify as LGB. 

Stonewall research forms a similar picture, indicating that nearly one in five LGBTQ+ people experience homelessness at some point in their lives.

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Many LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness are cut off from their support networks. Just 13 per cent of people surveyed by AKT felt supported by their parents while homeless, for example, while half of respondents said they worried that they would be evicted for expressing their LGBTQ+ identity.

Now, with poverty being a root cause of homelessness, and the cost of living crisis continuing to tear through communities including the LGBTQ+ community, there is potential that the problem could get worse.

Everyone experiencing homelessness deserves the opportunity to access support that is right for them. Here are some of the leading charities providing LGBTQ+ support for homeless people.

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AKT

AKT is the leading charity for young LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness. Its aim is to work with young people facing hostile living environments due to their sexuality or gender identity. 

Formally known as the Albert Kennedy Trust, the charity was founded in the name of a man who tragically died after falling from the roof of a car park in Manchester after experiencing homophobic abuse. 

Originally established in 1979, AKT offers accommodation, advice from housing specialists, life skills training and one-to-one mentorship to young people in need. It provides support regionally online and from service centres in London, Bristol the north-west and the north-east.

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Some 77 per cent of the young people it works with stated they believed “coming out at home was the main factor causing their homelessness”.

The Outside Project

The Outside Project is a grassroots organisation led by LGBTQ+ ex homeless, homelessness professionals and activists. 

Their community shelter, which is based in London, acts as an LGBTQ+ domestic abuse refuge and safe space for “those who feel endangered, who are homeless, ‘hidden’ homeless and feel that they are on the outside of services due to historical and present prejudice in society and in their homes.”

The shelter is based in London but anyone can support the charity by donating online.

Micro Rainbow

Micro Rainbow provides safe housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex asylum seekers and refugees whilst they’re going through the asylum process. It is the first organisation of its kind to open in the UK.

Its 11 safe houses prevent homelessness and operate from across the country, with four based in London, six in the West Midlands and one in the north-west.

As well as providing housing, the group also offer access to employment, education and social inclusion activities to reduce the feelings of extreme isolation faced by many LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees. 

Micro Rainbow’s vision is to “create a world where the LGBTQ+ community are free from discrimination, persecution and have equal opportunities in life, including in accessing employment, training, education, financial services, healthcare, housing, places of faith and public services.”

Stonewall Housing

Stonewall housing has supported tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ people in finding their way into safe and secure homes across the UK.

Founded in 1983, the charity works to ensure that “lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people live in safer homes, free from fear”. Amongst other services, including a confidential housing advice helpline, it currently provides supported housing to more than 40 young LGBTQ+ people across the country.

Its plans for the future will see the development of extra care schemes for the older LGBTQ+ community and more safe spaces for those people experiencing same-sex domestic violence.

The charity currently accepts public support in the form of donations, fundraising and volunteering. More information about this can be found on its website

LGBT Jigsaw

LGBT Jigsaw is a collaboration partnership between three specialist charities including, Stonewall Housing, AKT and Galop, an anti-LGBTQI+ abuse charity.

With support from London Councils, the initiative aims to put all of their resources together, with the intention of making accessing information, support and advice easier for those in need.

The purpose is to provide safe housing advice and information for LGBTQ+ young people in the UK.

Those seeking help from LGBT jigsaw can call the advice line or sign up through the self referral form on its website

Proud ‘N’ Diverse

Proud ‘N’ Diverse is a registered charity based in Leeds, raising awareness of issues affecting LGBTQ+ people in the city.

The charity runs group and one to one sessions with the aim of supporting people with issues including housing.

The one-to-one guidance service is free, but donations are accepted and enable the organisation to continue offering its services. 

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