Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin Thursday released a resource hub for the city’s LGBTQ+ community and compiled national data that found the rate of serious financial problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic was higher during the last year for LGBTQ+ households compared to non-LGBTQ+ households.
Galperin, who was the first openly gay official elected to citywide office in Los Angeles, reported that 66% of the U.S.’ LGBTQ+ households surveyed by the Movement Advancement Project experienced serious financial problems due to the pandemic, while only 44% of non-LGBTQ+ households reported serious financial problems due to the pandemic. Additionally, 20% of LGBTQ+ households reported food insecurity, while only 6% of non-LGBTQ+ households experienced food insecurity.
“The pandemic swept millions of Americans into unemployment as businesses closed their doors here and across the country,” said Galperin. “The impact was particularly acute for LGBTQ+ individuals and families, who suffered higher rates of job loss, food insecurity and financial hardship. During this Pride month, as we celebrate the community’s historic achievements in the struggle for equality, we must also look at ways to better address issues of equity for the most vulnerable among us.”
Galperin also said that 65% of LGBTQ+ households reported employment loss during the pandemic, compared to 45% of non-LGBTQ+ households. He raised concern that the LGBTQ+ community faces an increased risk of homelessness, especially as eviction moratoriums are set to expire.
“Even before COVID-19 upended so many lives, transgender and gender nonconforming people were at an especially high risk for housing insecurity, and as many as one-third have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives,” Galperin’s report states.
According the resource hub announcement, Controller Galperin’s LGBTQ+ story map covers the following:
- Guide to L.A.’s LGBTQ+ history: From the Mattachine Steps, named after America’s first official gay organization, to Jewel’s Catch One, the first exclusively gay and lesbian disco for African-Americans in the country, Galperin mapped 10 historical locations that show the breadth and diversity of the local LGBTQ+ community.
- Priorities in the struggle for equality and equity: Despite the legalization of same-sex marriage and civil rights protections in California, the community continues to face discrimination and unfair treatment across the country. Galperin outlines actions and initiatives that would help reduce the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, such as passing the Equality Act, stopping anti-transgender legislation in U.S. states and more.
- COVID-19 disproportionately impacted the LGBTQ+ community: Illustrated through graphs, Galperin reveals the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the community. During the pandemic, nearly 65% of LGBTQ+ households reported employment loss since the beginning of the pandemic, compared to 45% of non-LGBTQ+ households.
- Resource hub for LGBTQ+ community and map for homeless youth: The final section includes resources to help the LGBTQ+ community get vaccinated, along with an interactive map that can be used by LGBTQ+ youth and anyone in the L.A. area in need of housing and services. Galperin’s map lists resources in the City and beyond, with descriptions of services and contact information. Users can click a dot on the map or enter an address to find help near them.
This resource hub is not Galperin’s first foray into integrating technology into the fight against inequity in Los Angeles. Since taking office as Controller, he’s created a statewide food distribution map cataloging over 1,800 locations, a running citywide COVID-19 spending tracker, and a district-by-district breakdown of illegal dumping.
To access the LGBTQ+ resource hub, go to lacontroller.org/data-stories-and-maps/lgbtq-equality-and-equity/