This June, Daybreak CEO Alisha Murray and David’s Place director Josh Egeland were both featured prominently in an article produced by USA Today on the alarming trend of homeless youth identifying as LGBTQIA+ in significant numbers. The piece was a part of the publication’s ongoing focus on Pride month in America.
One of the more emotional points in the article features the statistic that “more than half of homeless LGBTQ youths say they have been forced onto the streets because of hostility or abuse from parents over their gender identity or sexual orientation, providers told USA TODAY”
“LGBTQ+ youth primarily experience homelessness due to family rejection. We know that that’s the primary theme,” said Josh Egeland, program manager of David’s Place, a drop-in center for homeless LGBTQ youths in Dayton, Ohio.
Murray, drawing from her extensive clinical experience as a social worker before becoming CEO, furthered the conversation with insight into the often dark and criminal side to surviving homelessness as a young person.
“Youths experiencing homelessness often must do whatever they can to secure shelter, even if it means engaging in sex for basic necessities, said Alisha Murray, the CEO of Daybreak, the youth social services organization that oversees David’s Place in Dayton.
“If they’re not able to get housing, they will go to great extremes to find shelter,” Murray said, adding that youths she serves have often racked up trespassing charges while living on the streets.