Identifying and Serving LGBTQ Youth: Case Studies of Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Grantees. Central Texas Youth Services Bureau


Mission The mission of the Central Texas Youth Services Bureau is to assist troubled children, youth, and families toward development of their full potential through provision of quality community-based services.
Services/Programs Emergency shelter, transitional living program, street outreach program, maternity group home, independent living program, self sufficiency/employment program, drop-in center, and national hotline
Target Population(s) RHY up to age 21 and their children
Service Area Three-county area in central Texas, including the cities of Belton, Killeen, and Waco
Annual Budget 2012 budget is $1.3 million, including $500,000 in federal RHY program funding for street outreach, transitional living, and maternity group home services
Number of Youth Served Annually Up to 5,000; 200 to 500 in shelter and housing programs (staff estimate)
Percentage of Youth Identifying as LGBTQ 4 percent lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning; 1 percent transgender (all percentages based on staff estimates)
Organizational Strategies for Serving LGBTQ Youth

Central Texas Youth Services Bureau (CTYS) implements the following organizational strategies:

  • Nondiscrimination and nonharassment policy. CTYS has a written nondiscrimination and nonharassment policy that is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Protection of confidentiality. Staff are required to participate in confidentiality training and sign confidentiality agreements. Information about youth served is not disclosed outside the agency unless legally required.
  • Cultural competency training. Staff receive occasional LGBTQ cultural competency training through local universities and participation in conferences.
Services Tailored for LGBTQ Youth

CTYS tailors three types of services to the needs and circumstances of LGBTQs:

  • Mental health. Staff refer LGBTQ youth to a support group at a local college and culturally competent mental health providers.
  • Emergency shelter. Staff will provide separate accommodations for LGBTQ youth in the emergency shelter based on safety concerns (including protection from harassment by other youth) or youth preferences.
  • Employment assistance. Staff advise youth on personal presentation for the purposes of finding jobs with “mainstream” employers.

Source: Discussions with program staff during site visit in April 2013.

LGBTQ = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning; RHY = runaway and homeless youth.

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