Intervention Site: Bill Wilson Center

Bill Wilson Center (BWC) — Santa Clara County, California

Integrating the Family Acceptance Project (FAP)’s Family Support Approach to Help Reconnect LGBTQ Youth Experiencing Homelessness with their Families


When I first learned about FAP’s pioneering research and family support model, I knew intuitively that this was the missing link we had been searching for to prevent homelessness and to reconnect LGBTQ youth and families. Once I participated in one of FAP’s trainings, I knew we had to integrate FAP’s family support model into outreach, prevention and services at the Bill Wilson Center and into every setting where children, youth and families receive services. FAP’s family support approach is how we build healthy futures for LGBTQ youth.” — Lorraine Flores, MS, MFT, Associate Director


Collaboration with FAP:  Integrating FAP’s family support approach into BWC drop in and LGBT outreach services to help reconnect LGBTQ youth and families. This includes training staff on FAP’s research-based family support strategies, implementing assessment and reconnection procedures and building capacity to provide prevention, family support and after care services for LGBTQ young people and families in Santa Clara County.

The Bill Wilson Center (BWC) is one of California’s and the nation’s largest multi-service agencies that provides a wide range of housing, health, mental health, education and advocacy services for diverse children, youth, young adults and families, including LGBTQ young people. With a foundation in counseling and support services for runaway and homeless youth starting in 1973, BWC has pioneered innovative housing, outreach, school-based and mental health services to meet the needs of very diverse individuals from childhood to adulthood to reduce risk, build self-sufficiency and promote well-being and resiliency.


Critical Funding Needed: Fund aftercare services to stabalize relationships and strengthen families of homeless LGBTQ youth who are newly reconnected with families to decrease risk and increase positive outcomes.


Nearly one-third (32%) of homeless youth served by the Bill Wilson Center are LGBTQ, more than half are youth of color and nearly 9 out of 10 were ejected from their homes because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

FAP’s family support approach was developed to help ethnically and religiously diverse families — including families that are socially conservative and who are more likely to be in conflict with their child’s LGBT identity — learn to support their LGBTQ children. FAP’s collaboration with BWC will pilot the first integration of the Family Acceptance Project’s family support framework into mainstream services for homeless youth.

Your tax deductible donation will enable our team to incorporate evidence-informed family services for supporting LGBTQ youth into BWC’s continuum of care to help meet BWC’s mission to end youth and young adult homelessness by 2020, and to guide urgently needed services for LGBTQ youth in California and across the U.S.