“An Introduction to Rainbow Homelessness” is a knowledge brief made by Making Space in collaboration with RainbowYOUTH and Te Ngākau Kahukura that aims to create an inclusive knowledge basis for homelessness in the rainbow community, so that safe and effective housing services can be made.
The brief showed that Rainbow-identified participants in the YOUTH19 survey were 10% more likely to report housing deprivation, and that almost one in five trans or non-binary people have experienced homelessness. Māori were also overrepresented in houseless populations, and that people part of the Rainbow community were more likely to rent. The issue was listed in the report as being an international issue, with one referenced study stating that youth members of the Rainbow community being 120% more likely to experience homelessness. New Zealand is currently lacking in comprehensive data on LGBTQ+ housing.
The brief discussed the factors that contribute to homelessness, listed as structural factors (homophobia), system failures (economy), and personal/relational factors (familial breakdown). Barriers to being able to get out of homelessness included welfare, employment, education, housing, and healthcare. One University of Auckland student who wishes to remain anonymous says, “Coming from a very religious family I always expected to get kicked out if my parents found out I was gay, and then just after I finished school my sister said she was going to tell them. I had to just leave the next day before she told them, I couch surfed for weeks until I had enough money to live somewhere.”
Recommendations made by the brief included adopting an anti-discrimination policy, additional support for Rainbow Community, more confidentiality policies when dealing with sensitive personal information, and encouraging support staff to adopt and develop more inclusive and accessible environments. It also suggests a consistent review to the policies and strategies to ensure the LGBTQ+ community are receiving effective and consistent support.