SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As the scorching August sun sizzles Sacramento, Midtown’s LGBT center is cranking up the A/C and the hydration.
Carlos Buchanan is drinking his first cup of clean water all day.
“It’s very hard to find clean sources of water… we can’t just drink straight from the river because it makes almost everybody sick,” he said.
He’s referring to the thousands of homeless youth he shares the streets with.
LGBT Center’s Executive Director David Heitstuman has seen a 30 percent spike in youth looking for relief.
“They didn’t come here on buses or were somehow dropped in all at once. They’re from our neighborhoods they are our neighbors,” he said.
And he says, they’re part of a growing number of LGBT teens revealing their sexuality, only to be rejected by their families, and kicked onto the streets.
“We’re dealing with a youth homelessness epidemic,” said Kay Temple Kirk of the Sacramento Gender Health Center.
Kay Temple Kirk is an advocate at the Sacramento Gender Health Center.
“Parents in our country often times are supported by their communities when they ex-communicate or reject their children for coming out as LGBTQ,” he said.
She says parents can make a difference. But for those who don’t have the support at home, they’re finding it in the community.
“Thank God for the people who work here who have the heart to help us,” said Buchanan.