LGBTQ Poverty Initiative



Our goal is to increase engagement by LGBTQ, philanthropic and anti-poverty organizations 


While there is growing research recognizing high rates of poverty among LGBTQ people, large mainstream LGBTQ organizations have not necessarily been prioritizing economic justice issues. Similarly, broader anti-poverty networks have not been operating with an LGBTQ analysis. The LGBTQ Poverty Collaborative*, a loose network of LGBTQ anti-poverty advocates, was formed in 2014 to respond to this lack of intersectional analysis among large powerful groups. The Collaborative convened a series of roundtable discussions with representatives of organizations engaged in anti-poverty work. Using information gathered in those convenings and collating existing data, the Collaborative set out to create a report detailing the distinct issues facing low-income LGBTQ communities in the United States. The goal of the report and this website is to increase engagement by LGBTQ, philanthropic and anti-poverty organizations, with issues of poverty in LGBTQ communities; and to increase engagement to address and end poverty in the US.

*The LGBTQ Poverty Collaborative is currently comprised of the following organizations: Center for American Progress, Family Equality Council, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National LGBTQ Task Force, Trans Women of Color Collective, The Vaid Group, Whitman-Walker Health and The Williams Institute.


We urge you to explore the full report and to consider issue areas that you haven't begun to include in your advocacy.


Using this "Call to Action" 


The guide is separated into nine chapters, using the themes that were lifted up by participants during the convenings and focus groups. The chapters, explained in more detail below, are:

  • Jobs and Working Conditions
  • Social Services and Benefits
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Schools and Education
  • Health and Wellness
  • Hunger and Food Security
  • The Criminalization of Poverty
  • Financial Inclusion and Exclusion
  • Federal Economic Policy

In each of these chapters you’ll find an overview of the issue area, explaining how LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted and differently impacted; promising practices and programs identified by participants in the convenings and focus groups; stories of people who have a lived experience related to the issue area; and concrete policy recommendations to help guide advocacy at federal, state, and local levels.

Each chapter is meant to be useful as a stand-alone document, but effective economic justice advocacy can’t be accomplished in silos. From a practical perspective, if a person living in poverty experiences food security but can’t access housing or work, economic justice has not been achieved.