We’re excited to announce that Forty to None Project Director Jama Shelton has been named to serve on the National Technical Expert Group for LGBTQ Transitional Living Programs – a project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau. Over the next three years, Jama will work with seven other experts to determine which practices best meet the needs of gay and transgender youth experiencing homelessness across the country, as well as develop a national blueprint to address the issue on a wide-scale.
During the first year of the initiative, the group will visit communities across the nation to study different techniques used to serve gay and transgender youth experiencing homelessness, determine which practices are most effective, and build a national youth focus group to further brainstorm and discuss potential practices, programs, and policies. The experts will consult homelessness service providers, shelters, social workers, youth themselves, and an array of other professionals during this stage to develop an understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
The information gathered during the first year will be put to use in the second year, as Jama and her colleagues create an informed and extensive strategy based on their findings to address the issue. In the final year, the group will release the research and strategies they discovered and created over the life of the initiative, begin to put their plans to work nationally, and offer feedback to shelters and providers based on their abilities to include and meet the needs of gay and transgender youth.
Only by working together to share ideas and resources can we ever hope to end gay and transgender youth homelessness. We’re proud to be a part of an initiative that does just that. There’s much to be done over the next three years. But our partners are ready, Jama’s ready, and the youth are more than ready.