Friday, February 26, 2016

A Beacon in a Dark LGBTQ Night

More encouraging news from "The Nati" (Cincinnati,Ohio). 
Perhaps it is true! Some are more concerned about the welfare of our LGBTQ youth more than what panty hose they have on!  This comes from the WKRC Channel 12 story:
P-UPZ APP.transfer_frame_1292.png
"CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) - A high-tech tool for your smartphone is aimed at helping homeless teens who often do not have much support.
The UPZ app helps lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth stay safe by getting them off the streets. It's one of the fastest ways to get a teen's attention an app on a smartphone. This app helps lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens who are homeless. Melissa Meyer is the Safe & Supported director at Lighthouse Youth Services. She helped create the app.
"It's important to know that the primary reason that LGBT youth become homeless is because of family rejection," Meyer said."
Also, the Cincinnati Police Department has a LGBTQ Liaison Officer, Angela Vance and she sees a need for the app: 
"Officer Vance said, "Once they come out to their parents, a lot of them, the 40% of them, become homeless. With that comes no money, no food, under bridges. They end up coach surfing. They end up homeless. Like I said, we find them in the in the woods."
Leelah Alcorn
Vance also says there is a high rate of suicide for LGBT youth. Officer Vance spoke at a vigil honoring Leelah Alcorn. The transgender teen killed herself in 2014.
 The UPZ app has features to help prevent another tragedy. The app will also connect them to emergency hotlines by phone or text, such as suicide hotlines, self-harm hotlines, and other community services.
People who work with LGBT youth know there is still a lot of work to be done, but but this is a high-tech step in the direction of helping teens who often face a lot of struggles. It may seem that homeless teens would not have access to cell phones, but people who work with them say often times they do have a way to stay connected.
Right now, the app is available at the Android store. Lighthouse is trying to get a grant to get the app on iOS systems as well."
Follow the link for more!

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