Rachel Tanenbaum and Wouter Ritsema's Proposal on LGBTQ Youth Homelessness

Justin Schulman TC's picture


Oftentimes, the MSC focuses on widespread issues which affect tens of thousands of citizens on a daily basis. I wanted to draw attention to a proposal that diverges from this norm in discussing a problem that many don't even know exists. Rachel Tanenbaum and Wouter Ritsema have sought out several solutions to combat the problem of LGBTQ homelessness among youth and teenagers. Unfortunately, most citizens and politicians alike are unaware that there is such a high percentage of homelessness among LGBTQ youth. Presenting this proposal would therefore serve two main functions: raise awareness in the Michigan State Legislature and provide an answer to the problem.

The majority of states in the US don't have programs addressing the problem and even fewer have passed any legislation on the matter. Ritsema and Tanenbaum are urging the state of Michigan to set a precedent in providing resources to these teens who are struggling to find a place to live and a place where they feel safe. It's a unique proposal that is backed in real research and these students have collaborated with organizations like Ann Arbor's Ozone House, which is already starting to work on this problem. Presenting this proposal would be a step in the right direction in combatting homelessness as well as LGBTQ acceptance across the state.