LGBT Coloradans’ Perspectives on Quality of Life Reveal Avoidable Economic, Health Care and Housing Challenges

DENVER, CO – The Foundation today released a new issue brief that shares the perspectives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Coloradans on matters affecting their health and quality of life – demonstrating that many needs go unmet.

In the fall of 2018, and in partnership with Kaiser Family Foundation, the Foundation polled 1,800 Coloradans on important topics connected to health and health equity. Data from the poll reveals that LGBT Coloradans face unfair and avoidable challenges when it comes to financial stability, housing, mental health and substance use issues. According to the brief:

  • Colorado’s overall economy is strong, but not all are reaping the rewards. More than four in 10 (42%) LGBT Coloradans say they are worse off financially than a year ago, compared to 25% of their peers. Half (50%) of LGBT Coloradans say it’s gotten harder to afford food, compared to only 35% of their peers.
  • Housing costs are impacting all Coloradans – including LGBT people who are more likely to report that it’s hard to keep a roof over their heads – with 58% of LGBT Coloradans worried they might lose their home due to an inability to pay monthly rent or mortgages in the next year, compared to 25% of their peers.
  • As the spotlight shines on mental health and substance use, LGBT Coloradans continue to be left in the shadows, reporting difficulties in accessing the care and recovery supports they need. More than a quarter (27%) of LGBT adults report having poor mental health, compared to 9% of their peers. And 71% of LGBT Coloradans don’t think residents are able to get the substance use services they need, compared to 44% of their peers.

“LGBT Coloradans face unfair and avoidable challenges when it comes to having what we all need to be healthy – challenges that demand deeper listening so we can identify and eliminate the source of these inequities,” said President and CEO Karen McNeil-Miller. “At the Foundation, we are dedicated to working with and supporting the LGBT community so that good health is in reach for everyone in Colorado.”

In addition to the brief, the Foundation recently pledged our commitment to Grantmakers United for Transgender Communities (GUTC), an initiative of Funders for LGBTQ Issues that aims to inspire a philanthropic culture that is inclusive and supportive of transgender people through grantmaking and decision-making. By joining GUTC, the Foundation has committed to activities such as trainings, professional development, recruitment and retention practices, grantmaking, public policy advocacy and more.

For more information about the brief or our participation in the GUTC initiative, please contact Keri Jones, Colorado Health Foundation communications officer, at 303-953-3695.

To connect with LGBT spokespeople on issues related to their experience with the economy, housing and/or mental health or substance use, please contact the following organizations:

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