Pride 2024

Pride in our work. Pride in our people. All year, every year!

Issues faced by all are often amplified for the LGBTQ+ communities. Soaring rents have posed a challenge for many people, adding to the cost-of-living pressures coming from many different directions.

For young people the affordability and availability of places to live have stripped them of options. Shared accommodation, or HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation), can be the only choice. Living with strangers is very different to living with friends; for any LGBTQ+ person this can be far from ideal. It can leave them open to hostile and discriminatory situations, making the very place where we all deserve to feel safe feel the extreme opposite. This is just one example of the disadvantage LGBTQ+ people experience in respect of their housing needs.

Unsafe. Unsupported. Unwelcome.

It’s a significant issue, especially when you consider Stonewall’s finding* that 18% of LGBTQ+ people have experienced homelessness at some point. For trans people this rises to 25%. Homophobia and transphobia can play a destructive part in someone losing their home. Unsafe situations. Unsupported needs. Unwelcome attitudes. All adding to the intense pressure that can create precarious and dangerous living situations for young LGBTQ+ people.

People First

At Caring in Bristol our core value of people first means that we acknowledge and respect the people we work alongside. Whether this is an LGBTQ+ member of staff or not, we are all allies. We know that homelessness is not inevitable. Remaining focussed on the needs of the LGBTQ+ people that we work with helps us to be alongside them to overcome the barriers that they face. Indeed, some of us have faced those barriers ourselves.

Restoring Hope

Last year we talked to people who attended Pride about the emergency youth shelter that we were planning. Few knew that the first youth shelter in the USA was set up by the trans community for the trans community. It was short-lived, but decades later it reminds us that in an unequal society a strong response is required. Services like our Project Z youth service, and Z House shelter (now open!) are there to make sure that when disadvantages like those faced by young LGBTQ+ create a homelessness crisis, the resources are there to restore a person’s hope and potential.

Taking Pride

Pride may be seen as a celebration, but it’s also a protest. For Caring in Bristol, Pride lasts all year long. And our protest is in the face of disadvantage, inequality, and exclusion. We stand alongside the people that we work with, not just from the LGBTQ+ community, and push back against these things. We take pride in doing this, and we won’t stop until things change for people facing or experiencing homelessness.

* Source: “LGBT in Britain, Home and Communities”, Stonewall / YouGov, published 2018.

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