The community of Pinellas County is coming together to end LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, reports Christa Price on the True Colors Fund website. Community leaders, advocacy organizations, and LGBTQ+ young people have been working for the past year to investigate and search for solutions to LGBTQ+ youth homelessness in their county.

Their efforts began last spring with a count of all LGBTQ+ homeless youth in the area, which gave them insight into the scope of the problem and its root causes. According to the research, lack of acceptance is a huge contributing factor.

“That’s what we’ve found over and over again,” said Dr. Lisa Davis, President and CEO of the nonprofit organization Family Resources, “is that if they come out, or they’re found out, parents will say, ‘not in my house’.”

As a result, one of the cornerstones of their plan is to educate parents, teachers, and other adults about the struggles that LGBTQ+ youth face. They also hope to involve homeless LGBTQ+ youth in all decision making processes, and to foster the growth of connections with older members of the community.

Pinellas County plans to begin implementing a far-reaching, community-wide initiative this December, with the help and support of the True Colors Fund, Family Resources, Metro Wellness, and Planning Works.

Learn more on the True Colors Fund website here.