A new report puts Ohio near last in the list of how states handle homelessness in people under 24 years old.
Ohio ranked 42nd among all states in dealing with youth homelessness, especially with LGBTQ kids.
The group True Colors Unitedm, which released the report, says LGBTQ youth are more than twice as likely to be homeless as their non-LGTBQ peers.
Spokesman Dylan Waguespack says its report looked at 61 metrics in Ohio, and found the state needs policies to prevent homeless young people from coming into contact with the criminal justice system and needs more state-level help to protect them.
“We’re talking about the infrastructure that’s created to support young people, whether there’s a state plan to end homelessness, whether that has a youth component,” Waguespack says.
California, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. and New York City ranked the highest in the report, while Oklahoma and Iowa tied for the last slot.
For Ohio, the group suggests a state youth homelessness office, allowing kids to get services without court involvement, declassifying running away as a delinquent offense and banning the practice of conversion therapy. A bill to outlaw the latter for minors was just introduce in the Ohio legislature.