Diversity at the Margins: The Interconnections Between Homelessness, Sex Work, Mental Health, and Substance Use in the Lives of Sexual Minority Homeless Young People

  • Tyler FrederickEmail author


The unique challenges facing homeless sexual minority young people have received increasing attention in recent years. This chapter reviews the research surrounding LGBTQ young people on the street with a particular focus on the interconnections between homelessness, sex work, drug use, and mental health problems. Homeless sexual minority young people are consistently found to have higher rates of mental health problems, drug use, sexual health risk, and victimization than their heterosexual counterparts—findings that highlight the particular vulnerability of this group of young people. However, there is research that cautions against focusing on a single story by underscoring the resilience and creativity of homeless LGBTQ young people, the diversity of experience, and the opportunities that street life holds for finding acceptance and belonging. This chapter aims to capture the complexity of street life for homeless sexual minority young people and concludes with suggestions for avenues of future research and policy.


Homelessness Sex work Mental health Addictions Drug use Youth 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

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