LGBT+ homeless fear violence, illness as coronavirus shuts U.S. shelters

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03/23/2020

The coronavirus is causing the closure of homeless centers across the United States, putting LGBT+ people without housing at increased risk of suicide, health complications or hate crimes, according to homelessness experts. Homeless centers said they have been forced to shut their doors in order to follow safety precautions over social distancing as enforced by international governments and health organizations. There are about 10,000 shelters for homeless people in the United States with an estimated 250 LGBT+ centers, largely in metropolitan areas, according to The National Coalition for the Homeless, a network of homelessness advocates. There are currently no estimates on the exact number of shelters closed in recent weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. Liyanni Smith, who is in a program for at-risk LGBT+ homeless youth in Philadelphia, said the closures would have a devastating impact.

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