Overnight program for LGBT young adults to launch
by Jen Colletta
Dec 08, 2011 | 6013 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beginning next week, LGBT young adults will have another resource to help them get on their feet.

The Foyer Night Resource Program will launch Dec. 14, providing up to 10 beds for LGBT individuals age 18-24 struggling with homelessness or unstable housing.

The program will operate from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. daily through the end of February as a pilot spearheaded by Foyer of Philadelphia in conjunction with several area partners.

“Homelessness is an ongoing issue for many young LGBT people in the city of Philadelphia,” said Foyer executive director Leigh Braden.

Braden noted, however, that LGBT young people often do not fit into the typical model of “homelessness.”

“About 30-40 percent of all homeless youth in America identify as LGBT but we know that it’s an issue that comes and goes for each of them,” she said. “They’re couch surfing, thrown out of their homes, living with other people and then having to leave and find somewhere else to go. They often don’t experience homelessness in the same capacity as those who are living on the streets, but it’s definitely an issue of unstable housing and there’s certainly a need here.”

The Night Resource Program, which will operate out of the Arch Street Presbyterian Church, 1724 Arch St., was made possible through a $5,000 grant by the Henrietta Tower Wurts Fund and a $5,000 grant from the Student-Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia — as well as $2,500 in fundraising.

Participants will be guaranteed a 30-day stay with the possibility of an extension depending on space availability and the individual’s progress.

Dinner and breakfast will be served daily, and individuals will have access to on-site case managers, who are MSW students at Temple University, as well as a therapist. Additionally, participants will be connected with daytime services through the Youth Health Empowerment Project.

“This is a short program right now, so our goal is to help them transition into additional services,” Braden said. “They’re probably not going to come out of this with an apartment and a job right away — 30 days is not enough to accomplish that. But we’re going to work with them to get them into other programs for when they leave us. A lot of young people don’t tap into the resources available or don’t even know they exist. So we want to open up some doors for them and create a safe place where they don’t have to worry about being discriminated against or being persecuted in any way.”

Foyer met last week with LGBT community leaders to unveil the new program and encourage referrals and may be canvassing the Gayborhood area in the coming days to spread the word to youth in need.

Organizers are looking for meal contributions for the program, which can be set up at

www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0449AAAC2FA31-lgbtq.

Jen Colletta can be reached at jen@epgn.com.

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