We never thought we would still be needed for so long when we set akt up in 1989’ (Cath Johnson MBE, akt founder)

Welcome to a special edition of akt now focussing on our latest report on LGBTQ+ homelessness.

In 1989 akt launched in Manchester and became the world’s first LGBT focused charity to offer safe homes with carers and mentoring at a time when the community had few rights and were fighting a socially and politically hostile environment.

In 2015 akt’s ground-breaking national scoping of youth homelessness discovered 24% of young people facing the threat of homelessness identified as LGBT and 77% cited rejection by their family as the primary cause

In 2021 akt’s latest in-depth and nationally significant report on homelessness show’s little change, with 78% of young people citing a lack of support from their family when they faced homelessness, whilst also highlighting the over-representation, invisibility, and discrimination of LGBTQ+ young Black and People of Colour, Trans folk and People Living with a Disability who face homelessness.

I spoke with our founder, Cath Johnson last week about akt’s latest report on homelessness and we were both disappointed and angry that despite the incredible work of organisations such as akt and the hard-won rights which have followed, significant numbers of LGBTQ+ young people are still being rejected by their families and go on to face challenges when accessing their basic human right to a safe home.

I urge everyone reading akt now to help us continue to build a safe and better future for young people facing homelessness by supporting our work. Please share this report far and wide to raise awareness and support/share our campaign for mandatory monitoring later in the year.

The development of our next five-year strategy is gathering pace following extensive consultation across our service users, staff, volunteers, and supporters. There are some strong themes emerging, including reviewing and diversifying akt’s housing offer, expanding our digital service to support our commitment to reaching more marginalised communities and geographically isolated young people, and developing a targeted programme of campaigns with the engagement of young people. I will be sharing highlights from the strategy in our October edition of akt now.

We are almost ready to announce our new recruits to the Board of Trustees. We have done an extensive cycle of recruitment to replace trustees from services and communications backgrounds who are coming to the end of their term with us. We have focused on retaining a high level of skills and talent alongside taking positive action to diversify the Board further.

Next month I will be reflecting on the last 12 months and sharing some of our year-end results. Until then I hope you have a lovely spring bank holiday.

Thank you for your continued love and support for akt.

Tim Sigsworth

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