Lighthouse Youth Services

  LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) youth are dramatically over-represented in the homeless youth population. Across the country, from 25 to 40% of homeless youth identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. A program designed to educate the public, reduce the problem and help these severely at-risk kids stay off the streets was recently introduced in Cincinnati. The National LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative, led by the U.S.

Homeless children, teens and young adults are a rising concern for police and social workers in Hamilton County.

Lighthouse Youth Services CEO Bob Mecum says homeless kids used to mainly be unhappy runaways.

"Today we're seeing kids who are, for the most part, long-term victims of poverty, long-term victims of neglect, and physical and sexual abuse," says Mecum.

Addiction is another major problem. Mecum says heroin use today is unprecedented and often passed down to children by their parents.