While San Francisco city officials are undoubtedly celebrating the drop in the homeless population from 6,455 in 2011 to 6,436 in 2013, which is largely attributed to the city government’s commitment to permanent supportive housing, the demographic questions included in the Biennial Homeless Count offer lessons for the rest of us.
For the first time ever, San Francisco collected demographic information about the sexual orientation of homeless individuals. The survey reported that almost a third (29%) of respondents self-identified as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning). This figure is most likely higher than the general population; Alfred Kinsey argued 10% of the population is gay or lesbian, and other studies have reported even smaller percentages.
It is no secret that San Francisco is an LGBTQ-friendly place, and it is not surprising the LGBTQ homeless count might be high. However, there is a deeper lesson for nonprofits across the country.
Note: This is part of a newswire I wrote for the Nonprofit Quarterly. To read the full post, please click here.