The number of LGBTQ youth who are homeless or seeking shelter is staggering: according to recent studies by UCLA, nearly 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. A local South Jersey organization is trying to address the specific needs of foster homes for gay youth, and is seeking a few good people to help in their efforts.
Next month, Crossroads Programs will be hosting an information session in Collingswood, New Jersey (a simple PATCO ride over the Ben Franklin Bridge) at the Collingswood Community Center for those interested in learning information about how to provide support and homes for LGBTQ youth.
“When Crossroads Programs looked for a place to host an information session for potential foster parents for LGBT youth, they first thought of Collingswood,” said Lydia Cipriani, Director of Development and Communications for Crossroads, who called Collingswood “a progressive town with a significant gay community.”
The organization wants to emphasize the distinct needs of LGBTQ youth, especially in a foster care situation. Program Director Kerri Durkin reinforced this point: “Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual and Questioning teens are a particularly vulnerable group and they need adult support while going through a difficult period in their lives. Problems tend to loom large when you’re a susceptible teen. It’s important to have emotionally supportive adults in your life to let you know that you’re cared for and supported.”
The Collingswood Community Center information session takes place on Thursday, June 26 from 6-8PM; it’s located at 30 West Collings Avenue. For more information, visit Crossroads Program’s website, or contact 800-601-4900.