After a previous assessment of economic development needs for the LGBT Community showed that more work needed to be focused among youth, The San Francisco LGBT Community Center initiated a project that was organized by youth to find out what the needs are of socio-economically disadvantaged LGBTQQHI youth in San Francisco and how to best improve their circumstances to create better opportunities.
The Youth Empowerment Team consists of youth organizers who wish to make a change in our community by empowering other youth. Our mission statement is: We are a team of youth organizing to empower socio-economically disadvantaged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, heterosexual and intersex (LGBTQQHI) youth in San Francisco. Through outreach, advocacy, and community organizing, we assess the needs of youth by collecting hands-on information to propose solutions to better meet these needs and ensure adequate resources and equal treatment for LGBTQQHI youth, while building leadership skills and empowering youth and their families.
Our research question was: What are the needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged LGBTQQHI youth and how can the community empower youth by ensuring adequate resources and equal treatment? We came up with a strategy and decided that we would distribute surveys among youth in San Francisco, conduct focus groups for youth and service providers and interview service providers. By using these research methods, we wanted to find out what the biggest issues are for queer and transgender youth in San Francisco.
We also wanted to find out what youth thought of how to improve their circumstances and how to feel empowered. After collecting and analysing the data, we came up with recommendations that could contribute to improving the lives of youth in San Francisco. We created our survey and focus group questions based on our observations of the many obstacles youth must overcome such as basic needs, and educational and job opportunities.