Shelter for Teens Kicked Out of Homes Due to Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
Mr Leong Mun Wai asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what are the current options for young and vulnerable teens to seek shelter if they are kicked out of their homes for reasons such as their sexual orientation or gender identity; and (b) whether the Government will consider extending financial support to shelters run by LGBTQ+ community groups such as the T Project Shelter.
1. The well-being of young and vulnerable teens is important to us. We recognise that family conflicts may arise for various reasons. Where possible, it is better for teens to be in environments where they have support networks and minimal disruption to their daily routine.
2. Social services should be accessible to all members of the public, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Our Family Service Centres provide support to teens and vulnerable youths, as well as their families, if they require social intervention or support services to address family conflict and other socio-emotional needs.
3. We do not condone abuse or violence committed against any person regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Young persons who face abuse or violence may approach the Family Violence, Child Protection or Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection Specialist Centres, which can provide support, including making alternative care arrangements where necessary. If there are no abuse or violence issues, and the young persons are assessed to be suitable for communal and independent living, our Transitional Shelters may be a shelter option.
4. T Project provides temporary shelter for those who are homeless and need a safe place of shelter. Many who seek help from T Project come from the LGBTQ+ community, and more specifically, transgender persons. The Government will consider funding programmes and services that address significant areas of social service needs, regardless of the communities they serve. There are also various other services, including shelter services, offered by community partners. Not all shelters operate with funding from the government. Shelter services offered by community partners complement existing MSF-funded programmes and services to meet community needs.