Safe in the Stacks: Community Spaces for Homeless LGBTQ Youth

Safe in the Stacks: Community Spaces for Homeless LGBTQ Youth

Created by Julie Ann Winkelstein, PhD, MLIS (jwinkels@utk.edu). Presented at the 2013 ALA Annual Meeting.

Download a copy of this resource

A Few Suggested Resources

California Homeless Youth Project
This site includes an array of resources, including videos and articles. It provides excellent background on youth homelessness, suggestions for positive actions, and videos that give insight into the lives of these youth.

Youth M.O.V.E National
This website would be excellent for youth and librarians, by providing support and an opportunity for youth to be involved and by offering insight to librarians into the role of youth in improving their own lives.

"Things People Never Told Me"
This toolkit covers an amazing range of topics on what foster youth aging out of the system wish they had been told. It includes comments on money, health, independence, resources, health care and much more. This would be a great starting place for ideas on how your library could make a difference. Much of the information is needed by domiciled youth as well as homeless youth - or even by adults. Your library may be a place some of these questions could be answered - with resource lists, with books, with programs or presentations.

"National Recommended Best Practices for Serving LGBT Homeless Youth" 
This booklet offers vocabulary, suggestions for staff training and ideas about how to create a supportive and welcoming environment. The information is not designed for librarians, but much of it is applicable and it offers many excellent tips in an easy-to-read format. On the back there is a list of organizations that support the dissemination of the booklet. No library is listed.

"All Our Children: Strategies to Prevent Homelessness, Strengthen Services and Build Support for LGBTQ Youth (2010)"
Commissioned by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, this publication offers suggestions for city agencies and many of these can be applied to public libraries. For example: "Identify and disseminate resources for families of LGBTQ youth."

"Why They Run: An In-Depth Look at America’s Runaway Youth"
This document lives up to its name and it provides great insights into why young people end up on the streets.

"Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement"
New booklet from ALA/OLOS on homelessness and libraries.

Forty to None
A program of the "True Colors Fund." From their website: "Working to raise awareness about and helping to bring an end to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth homelessness."

Family Acceptance Project
This site offers excellent resources on families and acceptance of their LGBTQ children. It could be used as the basis for a family program at the library. It includes an amazingly moving video, "Always My Son," that offers insight into the challenges and successes as families move toward acceptance.

Night Ministry

The LGBTQ Host Home Program

The Trans Life Project at Chicago House

Online newsletters (These are national ones. There are probably local organizations in your area, too.)

National Runaway Switchboard
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections
Covenant House