On Saturday, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser cut the ribbon for the Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL) transitional housing center for LGBTQ youths.
A 2015 census of 330 homeless youths found that nearly half of the District’s homeless teens identified as LGBT, Bowser said.
Laura Zeilinger, D.C.’s director of human services, said it’s not all that surprising given the challenges they face.
“Family rejection and other issues around sexual orientation are really the root cause of people becoming homeless,” Zeilinger said.
The eight-bed facility “will offer education, job training and skills needed to ensure future self-sufficiency,” according to SMYAL’s website.
(Featured image via Facebook)