School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

If you’d like to learn more about the issues of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, a valuable, free training resource is available as part of a November-long competition among Richmond and four other cities selected for the national Grand Challenge to End Youth Homelessness.

Richmond was selected by A Way Home America as one of 10 cities to participate in the program, which is focused on LGBTQ+ and racial equity. 

The Prevention Challenge is a competition among the first cohort of five awarded cities throughout November to have the most people complete a training on baseline of knowledge of LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. The other locales are Hennepin County, Minnesota; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Sacramento, California; and San Francisco, California.


Register & Log In: Access the free training from True Colors United. After creating an account and logging in, navigate to courses to select LGBTQ Youth Homelessness 101. 
Get Counted: Once you have completed the training, ensure your sessions counts toward the Grand Challenge by answering “yes” to the question “Is your organization participating in the 2019 True Colors Prevention Challenge?” Participants should select “Richmond VA” as the community from the drop-down menu and “VCU School of Social Work” as the organization from the drop-down menu.
Share: Feel free to circulate the training resource with fellow colleagues.
Contact: If you have questions about accessing the training please contact Dr. Maurice Gattis, visiting scholar and associate professor, School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, at (804) 828-4830 or

The training takes less than two hours and includes information on gender pronouns, creating inclusive environments, overview of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, language and terminology, and understanding oppression.


*LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness compared to their peers.
*Approximately 20-40% of youth experiencing homelessness nationally identify as LGBTQ+.
*The 2015 Youth Count in Richmond found that approximately 35% of the respondents identified as LGBTQ+.

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