Despite that LGBT people are often believed to be wealthy, they are, in fact, more likely to have lower incomes than the general population and live in poverty.
Low-income LGBT people and their families have specific legal needs and face unique challenges. In addition to facing all of the same challenges that other low-income people face—such as lack of transportation, homelessness, and inadequate housing—they also face homophobia and transphobia in every area of life, even from service providers who provide assistance to low-income people. Even if they live in a state that provides legal protections for LGBT families, these protections may be out of reach for low-income families because they require a lawyer or payment of court fees.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights has stood beside low-income LGBT people and their families since it was founded in 1977, and it has developed model legal projects aimed to help them when they need assistance most. NCLR pioneered two innovative projects focused on the needs of low-income LGBT people—The Family Protection Project, which focuses on the legal needs of low-income LGBT parents and their children, with a focus on families of color, and Proyecto Poderoso, a partnership with California Rural Legal Assistance focused on the legal needs of low-income LGBT people living in rural areas.