Imagine being a young LGBTQ+ person, filled with dreams, aspirations, and the desire for love and acceptance. Yet, circumstances beyond your control leave you at risk of homelessness, feeling vulnerable and isolated. This journey unfolds far too often for LGBTQ+ youth who are 120% more likely than their peers to experience homelessness due to rejection, discrimination, and escaping unsafe environments (University of Chicago, Voices of Youth Count). This heightened vulnerability exposes them to numerous risks, including substance abuse, exploitation, and mental health struggles. 

Family acceptance plays a crucial role in mental health for everyone, but many LGBTQ+ individuals face rejection from their families after coming out. The loss of family support and the resulting feelings of isolation can have severe psychological consequences, leading to higher rates of depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideation (National Institutes of Health, 2020).  

At Interface, we stand in support and solidarity, offering programs where youth experiencing homelessness can find shelter, reconnect with family, and embark on a journey of healing. We offer affirming spaces for young individuals to find respite, receive counseling, and receive the necessary support to transition back to stable housing. 

We also understand the vital role of mental health care, providing a safe space where youth can freely express their struggles, fears, and hopes, working together to rebuild their emotional resilience and embrace their true selves. We welcome members of the LGBTQ+ community with open arms, free from judgment, surrounding them with compassionate staff who understand the unique challenges they face.  

As we celebrate Pride Month, Interface Children & Family Services remains steadfast in our commitment to inclusivity, affirming mental health care, and supporting homeless LGBTQ+ youth. Together, let us work towards creating a world where every LGBTQ+ youth feels safe, valued, and empowered to lead a fulfilling life. 

We hope that you will join us in this important mission. Together let’s empower LGBTQ+ communities, amplify their voices, and facilitate safe spaces where every individual feels valued, supported, and celebrated.  

In gratitude,

Erik Sternad

Executive Director

Visit us online at to learn more about our programs and services and follow us on Instagram at @InterfaceWhatIf for updates on services, programs, and events.   

DID YOU KNOW? Interface’s Mental Health & Trauma Treatment department was born out of early counseling services that provided therapy and support to youth experiencing crisis and their families. Watch this video to learn more about Interface’s mental health services in the 1980s.

Visit Interface’s 50th Anniversary Page and scroll through our timeline to see highlights from 50 years of service to the Ventura County community.