Thank you, Bea Arthur
The Bea Arthur Residence, a homeless shelter for LGBT youth named for the Golden Girls star, will officially open in 2017. The shelter was made possible because of the generous donation from her estate, which gave $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center after the actress died in 2009.
The Ali Forney Center is located in New York City and is dedicated to serving homeless LGBT youth in New York City. The new 18 bed shelter is slated to be finished in February 2017.
Most of us have been fortunate to have a family and a home. Unfortunately, that is not true for a lot of LGBT youth. Forty-two percent of homeless youth are LGBT.
The number one reason they are homeless is family rejection or abuse, largely because of their family’s religious beliefs. Their parents throw them out. We think that most of the homeless are in the big cities, like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, but this problem also exists in small to mid-sized cities and towns across the country. The South is especially troubling, since much of the funding and grants available to assist the homeless is earmarked for faith-based initiative charities, many who are unwilling to help the LGBT community.
The major reasons homeless youth cite for remaining homeless, include lack of affordable housing options, incomplete education, inaccessible job market and on-going drug use.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, I found the following websites: True Colors Fund (started by Cyndi Lauper) look under Resources – there’s a True Inclusion Directory; Lambda Legal has Resources for LGBTQ Youth by State: and GLBTNearMe.org The GLBT National Resource Database.