LGBTQ2S* Youth Housing
RainCity Housing and Support Society have opened a housing and support program specifically for chronically and episodically homeless LGBTQ2S* youth – the first program of its kind in Canada – and the youth love it! Already we’ve seen individuals come off the street, build supportive networks, find market housing, and employment.
What’s the project?
This Housing First project enables us to ally with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Two-Spirit, Plus (LGBTQ2S*) youth and support them in creating a community where they can achieve their potential and avoid a long-term dependency on social services.
The youth (ages 18-24) connect with a team member weekly and are offered choices in housing, either a 4-bed communal house, or to live in other neighbourhoods where they feel safe. The model follows best practices in Housing First, recognizing the importance of choice and self-determination.
The emphasis is on:
- Building community support;
- Providing opportunities for employment & education;
- Offering accessible and safe healthcare and strong peer networks.
Primary and preventative care is provided by the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre.
Why are we doing this?
Recent homeless counts indicate that there are over 700 homeless youth in Vancouver, and many more uncounted or under housed. In Canada, research shows that the LGBTQ2S* population of homeless youth is between 25-40%, while approximately 10% of the total general population identify as LGBTQ2S*. Read more
Why is RainCity interested?
We focus on people’s strengths, believe strongly in community involvement, and learn from our experiences, pursuing an anti-oppressive framework that respects the communities we have the pleasure of working with everyday. Our hiring ethic has aided us in developing a unique competency in servicing the LGBTQ2S* community, increased our knowledge of LGBTQ2S* barriers, history and queer theory, and led to increased representation within our staff group. Read more
We would like to acknowledge all the communities across Canada who have been fighting for safe shelter and permanent housing for LGBTQ2S* homeless youth. Our hope is that the research gained and the model developed from this project will assist in your efforts.
How you can help!
The root of homelessness is a lack of supportive community for young people. It’s our connections with our community, family and friends that keep us all safe from living on our streets. These youth need natural community, people who are generally interested in them and looking for life long friendships, people who want to welcome these young people into their lives and the LGBTQ2S* community.
To become a mentor, find out more information here.
We have secured funding to operate this project until September 2016 and are seeking funds and partnership to continue this important work. Your financial support will ensure that LGBTQ2S* youth can live in a safe, supported environment uniquely designed to serve this population – the first in Vancouver, the first in Canada!
To find out more about the project contact Aaron Munro at 604.375.9130 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to our funders and partners for making this possible!
Foord Family Foundation The Hamber Foundation Individual Donors