Dallas Has $6 Million it Needs to Spend on Housing Homeless LGBTQIA+ Youth

Regina Levine, chief program officer at native nonprofit The Promise House, stated they used to have a federally funded place with beds particularly for homeless LGBTQ people. But ultimately, the home misplaced its funding. Now, they solely have 4 beds devoted to homeless LGBTQ youths.

“But the four beds aren’t enough,” Levine stated. “We get calls daily for assistance.”

They particularly get calls from individuals who have just lately aged out of care at amenities meant to serve homeless youngsters. Once they flip 18, they should go to grownup shelters, which might typically be horrifying, Levine stated. “You walk into this place with all these adults and you have to navigate how to survive,” she stated.

These shelters know it may be overwhelming for his or her newer, youthful residents. When they’ll, the opposite shelters will name The Promise House to see if they’ve room for these between 18 and 24 years outdated. Things could be simpler at a shelter devoted to individuals in that age vary with a give attention to offering companies to LGBTQ people. “You’re still going to be scared, but at least it’ll be a little more comfortable,” Levine defined.

The metropolis is seeking to fund a spot like that. In a posting on its procurement portal, town of Dallas stated it desires to throw $6 million into an actual property growth mission aimed to offer housing for homeless LGBTQ youth between 18 and 24 years outdated.

Dallas continues to be within the early phases of the mission. It’s searching for recommendation from native nonprofits about what such housing would appear like and what companies it ought to present. 

“You stroll into this place with all these adults and it’s a must to navigate how you can survive.” – Regina Levine, The Promise House

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There are a few shelters and organizations in Dallas that help serve homeless LGBTQ youths. The Dallas Hope Center opened in 2018 to provide transitional housing and services to young people in the LGBTQ community who are facing homelessness. The same year, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance found that a quarter of youths living on the street identified as being part of the LGBT community, according to KERA.

But there have been calls for the city to put its own many into such a project for some time. In 2017, city residents voted for a $20 million bond package to tackle homelessness.

“So now we just need the city to allocate about $4 million to building a shelter for our LGBTQ homeless, a place where they can be safe and have resources to get them back on their feet and out of the homeless cycle,” then-City Council member Adam Medrano said. “And that’s why I’m committed to making sure the city of Dallas [puts] our money where our mouth is. We want to do this.”

That never happened, and calls for such a city-funded facility continued.

Outlast Youth, a homeless LGBTQ youth advocacy group, asked the city in 2020 to allocate $3 million of the bond package money to create an emergency shelter. The shelter would have served any young adult, but with a focus on LGBTQ individuals.

That’s how the city is billing this latest effort, as an LGBTQ focused real estate project for homeless youths. The city hopes the facility will provide childcare services, counseling, teen pregnancy needs and other services.

Across the U.S., about 22% of homeless youths identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Also, many people in the LGBTQ community have reported homelessness in different stages of their lives, according to The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy. About 71% of LGBTQIA+ people had been homeless after turning 18. About one-fifth had been homeless earlier than they turned 18, and eight.6% had been homeless of their youth and grownup lives.

Levine stated she’s excited town is pursuing the brand new mission “because it’s needed.”

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