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Alliance for GLBTQ Youth is a launch partner of the national Forty to None Network to fight homelessness

An announcement from the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth:

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The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth is a national launch partner of the Forty to None Network which aims to connect broad range of professionals working to address homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.

MIAMI - November 25, 2013 - The Forty to None Project, a program of the True Colors Fund, announces the launch of the Forty to None Network. The Network is a national collective of individuals who are working to address or have the potential to impact the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth homelessness. The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth is proud to be a launch partner and representing the Southeast region of the United States through our work addressing LGBT homelessness.

Recent reports estimate that up to 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBT, while only 5-7% of the general youth population does the same. The Forty to None Network seeks to reduce this disproportionate representation in part by facilitating a reciprocal information exchange among service providers, educators, researchers, advocates, government officials, health care professionals, philanthropists, and young people.

"Most street-based teens use the streets as a means to survive because they have no other way to survive and take care of themselves," says ZiZi Phillips, youth advocate and formerly homeless young person. For ZiZi the Forty to None Network is a platform where young advocates can connect and educate the public about youth homelessness from their own experiences.

"The experience of homelessness continues to be a pervasive reality for countless LGBTQ youth. Youth homeless services available are often hostile or are focused on family reunification, which is not an option for many of our youth" said Carla Silva, Executive Director of The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth. "The Forty to None Network is an unprecedented opportunity to create safeguards, transform the youth homeless system of care, and cultivate healthy, thriving LGBTQ youth in all our communities."

"Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth are disproportionately represented among youth who experience homelessness," said Network member Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. "That's why the Forty to None Network is so important. By working across sectors and in coalition with other organizations and agencies, Forty to None provides leadership and energy to help end the crisis of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth homelessness."

"We created the Forty to None Network in response to the feedback we've received from people around the country working on LGBT youth homelessness - that there is a missing consolidated, national network to facilitate the sharing of ideas and action," said Jama Shelton, Director of the Forty to None Project. "It is our hope that the network will build bridges across systems that impact LGBT youth, and keep everyone engaged in this critical work informed and working collaboratively."

Forty to None Network membership benefits include first looks at best practices, research and fundraising resources, and legislative and policy updates. Members will be invited to help shape the content distributed through the Forty to None Network by sharing their experiences, providing feedback, and engaging in ongoing dialogue via Network facilitated online communication and in-person networking opportunities.

"Joining the Forty to None Network is a no-brainer," said Network member Blase DiStefano, Creative Director and Entertainment Editor for OutSmart magazine in Houston, Texas. "At my lowest point, I at least had a place to live. For those of us who are homeless, this network could be a lifesaver."

Those working in social services, public policy, research, and other related areas on the local, state, and national levels, or those whose work impacts the systems that serve LGBT homeless youth may sign up to join the network at www.fortytonone.org/network. The Forty to None Network is made possible through the generosity of the Yambao family in memory of Norman Miller Yambao.

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The Alliance GLBTQ Youth coordinates a full range of quality services through partnerships with many Miami-Dade County service organizations. We serve youth, families and their communities while advocating for equal rights and status of all youth regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information, please visit www.glbtqalliance.org.

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