All hail Hull! More proof, as if it were needed, that Hull is an LGBT friendly city. The problem of homelessness among the LGBT community is nothing new. It’s terribly sad that LGBT people make up a disproportionately large demographic of homeless people, and the reasons why may not surprise you. Many are rejected by their friends and family after coming out to disapproving loved ones. This may leave them “sofa surfing”, staying with friends with no real stability in their life, or relying on hostels to stay the night. These are of course generally a good option as the people who use hostels have all had difficulties in their lives and so can identify with those who have been thrown out of their homes for coming out. But, at a hostel, there is no guarantee that LGBT people will be safe from further abuse, or that they will even be free to be themselves. There are hostels that are disapproving of LGBT people, forcing them back into the closet from whence they came if they wish to seek the help they need. This can do much more harm than good.
So, it was very pleasing to read last week in the Hull Daily Mail, that a housing centre, The Crossings, is to provide its staff with a two day training course to focus on the needs of LGBT people who have found themselves homeless. Crossings manager Alan Marples said his staff would be gaining more understanding of the issues faced by the LGBT community and the support networks they could refer them to. He continued “we want them to know they can get support from people and the opportunity to be themselves. It is about letting people know they’re safe and can be a part of society”.
Alan’s comments are commended by us here at the Hull and East Riding LabourLGBT network. The problem of homelessness within our community doesn’t appear to be going away, so it’s wonderful to see that steps are being taken to tackle it. If you’d like to know more about the work The Crossings does, have a look at their website: http://www.riverside.org.uk/corporate/our_services/care_and_support_services/the_crossings,_hull.aspx