What would you pack if you had to pack your whole life into a backpack in only ten minutes?
When we found out that LGBT Youth make up to 45% of all homeless youth, and 9% of the general youth population in this country.
Approximately 1.7 million children & youth run away or are forced to leave their homes each year. While away from home, an estimated 38,600 (2.2%) of these youth were sexually assaulted, were in the company of someone known to be sexually abusive, or were engaged in sexual activity in exchange for money, food, or shelter. Runaways are perceived as easy targets for sex traffickers because they often cannot go home and have few resources. These factors expose homeless youth to criminal exploitation such as forced prostitution and sexual abuse.
LGBTQ youth who have been thrown out by their families are also at especially high risk for trafficking victimization. Vulnerable youth who are looking for love and basic necessities of life including food and shelter are easy prey for human traffickers who will offer false affection, food and a place to stay the night. Their chances of being trafficked into prostitution increase every day while living on the streets with minimal resources and protection.
Our #BackPack10 Campaign was designed to provide BackPacks with 10 essential survival items to LGBTQ youth & young adults who are underserved or experiencing homelessness. Our 2017-18 goal is to distribute at least 1,500 backpacks starting October 2017 across LA County in partnership with various LGBT organizations, LA City Hall, Compton City Hall, and the West Hollywood Sheriff's Office