Updated: Oct 13, 2020
PowerOn, a program putting technology into the hands of at-risk and homeless LGBTQ youth across the nation, aims to aid the LGBTQ community by providing access to life-saving resources that can be reached online. As of April 2018, the PowerOn program is available in eight locations, with more to come later this year.
LGBTQ Youth & Technology
Each night, as many as 1.6 million children and teens sleep on America’s streets. Over 40% of these homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, which is a population equivalent to our nation’s capital at about 650,000 people. Many of our LGBTQ youth find themselves in homeless or housing-insecure situations after family conflicts over sexual orientation or gender identity.
Experiencing homelessness as an LGBTQ youth has a far-reaching impact, beyond the basic need for housing. In being separated from a family unit and the resources that might be available there, LGBTQ youth cannot easily access healthcare, educational resources, or an accepting and supportive community network.
Technology is vital for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth to stay connected with supportive networks and to improve their personal safety. Phones and other devices often provide one of the only LGBTQ-safe and affirming points to the Internet.