Gimme Shelter: Bread & Roses Opens As Temporary Home For LGBTQ+ Youth
onto walls adorned with Pride flag quilts made by volunteers, a dining table with flowers in a white vase, and a white board with house rules, inspirational quotes and a picture of civil rights advocated/trans hero Marsha P. Johnson. The aroma of pancakes and maple syrup wafts through as people walk in and out of the space that has become home for five LGBTQ+ identifying youth.
Homeless LGBTQ+ youth ages 18 to 24 can find temporary shelter at Bread & Roses, the first crisis transitional housing program for LGBTQ+ youth in Pima County, created through the collaboration of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) and Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS).
The program combines the transitional housing expertise of OPCS and the knowledge of and connection to the LGBTQ+ community from SAAF, which will provide case management and wraparound services to the youth in the program, said SAAF CEO Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah.
by KAELA ROEDER
SMYAL, short for Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders, is launching a third Extended Transitional Housing program for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness that will provide residents with up to six years of shelter, mental health support and employment assistance.
The two existing sites offer case management support and shelter for up to two years. The new site will provide longer-term care for LGBTQ youth ages 18 to 24 who need more time to address individual needs in a trauma-informed, identity-affirming space, according to Sultan Shakir, the executive director of SMYAL.
“There’s a really high, uphill climb that so many young people have, even here in the District, to transition from a space of experiencing homelessness to a space of independence,” Shakir said. “That’s really why we’re excited to create this opportunity to allow young people more time to overcome some of those barriers.”
The program will be located at Wayne Place in Southeast D.C. and can support up to 12 people at a time in an apartment-style setup including a shared bathroom, kitchen, and living room. There will be six units in total, with two bedrooms to each unit.