International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award

5-2018

Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)

Department

International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Laurie Ross, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Robert Zarges, Ph.D.

Abstract

LGBTQ youth are at a much higher risk for experiencing homelessness, victimization, abuse, and disconnection from social and medical services than their non-LGBTQ peers. This research paper uses a mixed-methods approach to identify the specific needs of unaccompanied LGBTQ youth in Worcester, Massachusetts, and how the youth service sector can better meet the needs of this population. Analysis of data from unaccompanied LGBTQ youth and the providers who serve them revealed a disconnect between service providers, and a lack of resources that accommodate the intersections of homelessness and LGBTQ identities. LGBTQ youth in Worcester are more at risk of experiencing chronic homelessness, trauma, and having unmet service needs. This study was conducted with the purpose of connecting and coordinating the myriad of youth resources in this city, and improving their accessibility for unaccompanied LGBTQ youth in a climate of rising social and political conservatism.

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