HRC Members and Supporters Prepare to Volunteer on MLK Day of Service


MLK Day of ServiceThis Monday, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day, HRC members and supporters across the country will gather for an annual Day of Service, writes Hayley Miller on the HRC Blog.

Each year, millions around the country treat MLK Day of Service as a “Day On, Not a Day Off.” Working together, HRC hopes to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community action to help bring together people, strengthen communities and meet national challenges.

This year, we will work to ensure the safety and well-being of our LGBTQ youth.

Youth homelessness in the United States is a national crisis in urban, suburban and rural communities affecting nearly 2.8 million youth between the ages of 12 and 24. Consistent research finds that LGBT youth are over-represented among homeless youth, comprising approximately 40 percent of the total homeless youth population even though they make up less than 10 percent of the overall youth population.

Consequences of homeless youth in the United States, particularly for LGBT youth, range from issues in mental and physical health, sexual abuse and exploitation, chemical and alcohol dependency, educational attainment, to social stigma, discrimination and family rejection.

In a study of 51 young transgender women of color in Chicago, ages 16-25, 34 percent of participants were homeless or living in a group facility. Additionally, according to a Williams Institute survey of service providers who work with homeless youth, 60 percent of the LGBTQ homeless youth they serve are people of color.

Prior to and throughout January 18, HRC will be collecting supplies and assembling care bags from LGBTQ homeless youth. On Monday, hundreds will gather to serve their community and those in need.