SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The city of San Diego is setting aside 1.5 million dollars to help LGBTQ youth. It’s part of the city’s budget that was approved earlier this week.
"When 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ we need to do more,” said Rebekah Hook-Held, Chief Public Affairs Officer, San Diego LGBT Community Center.
Hook-Held says she and others at the LGBT center are relieved and grateful city council members have set aside new funds in this year's budget to directly help local LGTBQ kids who are facing homelessness.
"What we hear most from our youth that are seeking more permanent housing…is unfortunately they've been kicked out of their homes,” she said.
Hook-Held says right now there are only four shelter beds specifically serving the LGBTQ community. The new funding will allow them to increase the number of beds and offer things like transportation, meals and mental health services.
San Diego city council president Sean Elo-Rivera says it’s part of the council's proactive approach to preventing homelessness.
"It is important to meet people where they are…to understand what it is that led to them being on the streets to begin with,” he said.
The center says the new funds will offer kids support, services and a safe place to sleep when they don't know where else to turn
“This is the moment of intervention where we can wrap our arms around them and provide the support that they need,” added Hook-Held.