Milwaukee Pride, in partnership with ManpowerGroup Elevate, Pathfinders and Boswell Book Company, is proud to bring author Ryan Berg to Milwaukee for a deep insight into the human risks and costs of the LGBTQ youth homeless crisis in America.
This special presentation, book reading, Q&A and community discussion will be held at ManpowerGroup global headquarters (100 Manpower Place) in downtown Milwaukee from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 19.
Free visitor parking is available in the Cherry Street parking structure.
Although free and open to the public, space is limited and RSVP is required.
On any given night there are 4,000 homeless young people on the streets of New York City. Nearly 2,000 of them identify as LGBTQ, and there are less than 200 beds available to serve that specific population. Almost half of the youth experiencing homelessness today have had at least one placement in a foster home or group home.
In Milwaukee, there are 400 homeless youth living on the streets every night and only 16 emergency shelter beds. Youth homelessness has a tremendous negative impact on individual physical, mental and emotional health, as well as the local talent market, regional skills shortage and national economy.
In No House to Call My Home, Ryan Berg takes us on an intimate journey into the lives of the LGBTQ teens stuck in this deeply flawed system. Forty-three percent of homeless youth in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, and many have come from foster care.
As a caseworker at a group home, Berg worked with young people who have battled extreme poverty, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and years of abandonment and abuse.
From Bella, a transgender woman who dreams of having an apartment with a canopy bed but binges on crack and strolls for johns on the West Side Highway, to Reginald, who longs for a father figure but time and again encounters abusive men, Berg reveals that beyond the tears, bluster, and bravado, the force that allows these teenagers to carry on is the irrepressible power of hope.
About Ryan Berg
Ryan Berg received the New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature and is a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Fellow.
His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Slate, The Advocate, Salon, Local Knowledge and The Sun. Ryan has been awarded artist residencies from The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His debut book, No House to Call My Home: Love, Family and Other Transgressions, won the Minnesota Book Award for General Nonfiction and is a finalist for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency Media for a Just Society Award.
In addition to writing, Ryan is the Program Manager for ConneQT Host Home Program, where community members share their homes and resources with LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Ryan has spoken at universities and conferences across the country discussing youth homelessness and the host home model. He lives in Minneapolis.
Since 1975, Pathfinders has been a safe haven for Milwaukee youth in crisis. The organization now serves over 6,000 children, young adults and their families every year at three locations.
Q*Blok, a program of Pathfinders Milwaukee, is specifically designed to support LGBTQ-identified young adults at imminent risk of being homeless. In 2014, Q*Blok supported 16 clients in achieving permanent housing and employment.