According to national statistics, 38% of young adults experiencing homelessness do not identify themselves as “straight” in sexual orientation. LGBT young adults ages 18 or older are disproportionately at risk of homelessness due to being kicked out of their family home when they turn 18 or aging out of foster care with no place to go.
There is currently no homeless shelter focusing on the needs of 18+ LGBT community. These individuals are required to use temporary overnight adult shelters, but the issues facing LGBT homeless young adults are more acute than the overall population.
- LGBT teens have more than double the rate of long-term chronic homelessness.
- They are more than twice as likely to experience physical or sexual violence.
- There is considerably more concern with safety in existing shelters due to homophobia.
Thrive Youth Center in San Antonio, reports, on average, one call per week from people seeking LGBT shelter services in the Dallas area, but none is available. The ability of existing organizations to safely serve the LGBT community is inconsistent and Dallas lacks services dedicated to our target demographic, 18-24 year-old LGBT young adults.
Our mission is to reduce homelessness among LGBT young adults in North Texas by opening and operating the first LGBT-focused shelter in the Dallas area, tailored to the needs of individuals ages 18-24.
We are calling it DALLAS HOPE CENTER.
Our plan includes:
- Safe Shelter – transitional housing with an expected average stay of up to one year.
- LGBT-Focused – but not exclusive. All young adults aged 18-24 are welcome.
- Case management – staff is on-site any time guests are present. A case manager meets weekly with each youth to build a map towards stability and self-sufficiency and to access needed services and resources from other community organizations
- Healthcare & Mental Health Services – depending on the needs of the individual, we partner with other agencies to provide access to primary medical care, HIV testing, as well as mental health assessment and treatment
- Life Skills – We help to procure state identification, pursue education, and find employment
Dallas Hope Center
Dallas Hope Center is open for business having invited our first guest in July of 2018.
Longer term, Dallas Hope Charities has hired a Director of Development to create a sustainability plan including grass-roots funding from the LGBT community, corporate sponsors, charitable grants, and potentially local and federal funding as the operation grows. We do not believe any governmental funding is available to fund the initial startup of this initiative.
We need your help to fund and grow this vital service in Dallas to house and support the community so no LGBT young adult in North Texas faces the prospect of homelessness alone.