Obama Administration Seeks To Address Homeless Crisis Among Gay Teens
WASHINGTON - Jonathan had spent nearly a decade in Louisiana's child welfare system. The safest places, the gay teen discovered, were the moldy homes he squatted in after Hurricane Katrina.
Roofs sagged, floors caved in, mold veined walls and there were always rats. "It was very uncomfortable," said Jonathan. "Old, dark, lots of insects, rodents. ... It was times I cried." Often, he lit fires to keep the rats away.
At 18 years old, Jonathan had just aged out of foster care and was essentially homeless. But those boarded-up dwellings were peaceful refuges compared to the facilities he experienced as a state ward.
Jonathan had logged time in group homes, foster homes, shelters, a secure detention center and even a military boot-camp-style school. It didn't matter where he ended up. He said he always felt the sting of homophobia.
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