LGBTQ+ experiences of youth homelessness

akt – one of Campbell Tickell’s charity partners for 2022 – offers tailored support services to help tackle the growing problem of youth homelessness among the LGBTQ+ community


Image: Istock

Charlotte Vale

Fundraising manager,

akt (Albert Kennedy Trust)

akt (Albert Kennedy Trust) is the national LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity supporting young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. They support young people into safe homes and employment, education or training, in a welcoming and open environment that celebrates LGBTQ+ identities.

Housing need

Coming out, or being outed as LGBTQ+, can sadly lead to young people being made homeless – even in 2022. 24% of young people who are homeless in the UK are LGBTQ+, which is significantly disproportionate. Once homeless, LGBTQ+ young people are more likely to face violence and discrimination than young people who aren’t LGBTQ+. This can all take a huge toll on someone’s physical and mental health.

77% of the LGBTQ+ young people akt work with believe coming out at home was the main factor in causing their homelessness. It's vital that they’re supported in an environment that’s inclusive and celebrates their identities, in order to improve their life outcomes.

“77% of the LGBTQ+ young people akt work with believe coming out at home was the main factor in causing their homelessness.”

Communication key

Many young people who need akt’s help get in touch through the enhanced live chat. This provides a very quick response time – and also affords more privacy and flexibility than when speaking on the phone. By making it as easy as possible for those who need akt’s support, the charity can help even more young people. 33% of all young people getting in touch through the live chat do so with an immediate need for accommodation, with many others also experiencing or fearing abuse or violence.

akt’s recent fundraising campaign focused on support for the enhanced digital service which has been the fastest growing area of the charity since the pandemic. Thanks to individuals and corporate donors, the digital service can now continue at the much-needed increased capacity that allowed akt to meet the demand from young people over the past two years.

Case study

Billy was experiencing domestic abuse in their family home. akt was able to work with Billy to escape the house and get to a place of safety. Billy was then referred to a local LGBTQ+ domestic abuse service as well as his local authority for a homeless assessment. After just two days, he was provided with supported accommodation.

Through akt’s Rainbow Starter Pack personal grant programme, Billy was able to buy essential items for his new flat. akt also supported him to make a claim for benefits, get an official form of ID and sign up for employability services in his area. Billy explained that communicating through WhatsApp messages and voice notes was the easiest and most accessible way for him to keep in touch. He is now settled, safe and happy, and also started university in September.


Learn more in akt’s recent lgbtq+ youth homelessness report (2021). This piece of research centres the voices and experiences of lgbtq+ young people who have faced any form of homelessness in the past five years.


CT seasonal donations and charity partners 2021 - 22


Tackling youth homelessness