Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cyndi Lauper, Homeless Teens, and Libraries

I've been meaning to share this interesting article with you that School Library Journal featured:  Cyndi Lauper's Youth Homelessness Awareness Project Reaches Out to Librarians.

Cyndi Lauper has started a new organization to help educate folks about the very serious problem about LGBTQ homeless teens.  Why this group?  Because "while LGBT kids make up an estimated three to five percent of the general population, they account for as much as 40 percent of the homeless youth population. The reason? Because families often abuse, neglect, and reject gay and transgender teens due to their sexual orientation or gender identity."

School and public librarians are not only in the perfect position to educate and get the word out about this problem—but they also offer LGBT teens a safe haven, says Greg Lewis, executive director of the True Colors Fund, which seeks to advance LGBT equality and was cofounded by Lauper. "There is much that the public and those who work directly with kids can do, especially librarians," he says. "For many young people who find themselves homeless, the local library is the only place where they can search the Internet for information and resources. For this very reason, libraries and librarians can play a major role in dispersing effective, sometimes life-saving information for homeless or at risk gay and transgender youth looking for help." Lewis says he encourages all librarians to familiarize themselves with the information and resources available on the Forty to None Project website, and to "urge any homeless or at risk gay and transgender youth who may visit their local or school library to seek help."

I encourage you to read through this site and be prepared for when you encounter this challenge in your community.  Odds are, some of your teens may already be in this situation.

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