Apr 26, 2024 - News

San Diego to open LGBTQ+ youth homeless shelter

Illustration of 4 pairs of shoes on a welcome mat.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

San Diego is opening its first permanent shelter for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness.

Why it matters: Nearly 30% of LGBTQ youth report experiencing homelessness or housing instability at some point in their lives nationwide, which puts them at an increased risk for mental health issues.

The big picture: Rates of suicidal thoughts among LGBTQ+ youth have trended upward in recent years, according to a recent The Trevor Project report.

  • In California, 44% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in 2022, researchers found.

Driving the news: U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D) announced Friday that he secured $1.5 million in federal funding to convert unused office space into a 44-bed shelter in East Village.

Zoom in: The San Diego LGBT Community Center, San Diego Youth Services and the YMCA of San Diego County will operate the shelter.

  • They will provide case management, transportation assistance, employment support, outreach to youth on the street, and basic needs including food, showers, mail service, laundry and clothing, the Union-Tribune previously reported.
  • It's also near public transit and San Diego City College.

What's next: The San Diego Housing Commission, which is converting the space, plans to submit documents to the city in late May for the building permit process.

  • If permits are approved, construction is expected to be complete in late December of this year or early January 2025.
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