Queer Eye for Disaster Relief

I am obsessed with queer responses to climate change. If someone faces threats and challenges when it a beautiful day out, things only get worse with the weather. Climate change is a threat multiplier. We have always had storms, floods, droughts, and heatwaves, but climate change magnifies these making them bigger and badder. Similarly, threats people face because of their identity, mobility, health, etc also increases with the more extreme weather events.

Homeless LGBTQ youth face many risks and dangers on sunny days. These explode with extreme weather, especially when they don’t seek shelter. Up to 40% of homeless youth avoid shelters.

According to LiveAbout.com

If at all possible, LGBT teens who are facing homelessness, or who are already homeless, should try to locate LGBT-friendly services.

When dealing with a crisis like homelessness, the last thing you need is a hostile or homophobic service provider.

Fortunately there are some of these LGBTQ-friendly shelters.

The Ali Forney Center in New York, has complied a list of such resources in 16 states: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

I see addressing homeless LGBTQ youth needs (in nice weather and nasty weather) as a queer family values issue.

Fellow queer Quaker, Brian Blackmore told me about the work of The Night Ministry in Chicago. “They have a mobile bus that offers temporary shelter, counseling, Health care and testing, and sometimes food. The people who work there are some of the most valiant and compassionate people I have ever met. Tikkun Olam realized.”

I would love to hear of your own experiences, insights, and ideas of how we can build stronger communities before disasters come.

LGBTQ Youth, Disasters, and YOU from Peterson Thomas Toscano on Vimeo.

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