New transitional housing for LGBTQ2S youth announced in Ward 20
In the 2015 City of Toronto Budget, new funding was approved for 54 shelter beds for LGBTQ2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirit) youth across the City. We are proud to announce that our office will be working closely with the YMCA and City Staff to support a new transitional house for LGBTQ2S youth in Ward 20.
At this week's meeting, City Council approved funding for the YMCA to operate a 25-bed transitional house for LGBTQ2S youth that will begin serving Toronto's youth this coming summer.
Extensive research and community input make it clear that LGBTQ2S youth are an underserved client population within the existing shelter system in Toronto. Currently, more than 1 in 5 youth staying in shelters identify as LGBTQ2S; this statistic speaks to the need for specialized programming to assist this very vulnerable group.
The YMCA was selected to operate the program and the Walmer Rd. site, located in Ward 20, was selected as an ideal location and building for this important new initiative. Currently, the YMCA owns and operates a 25-bed transitional youth house at this location. The YMCA's proposal was one of the successful respondents to a 2014 request for Expression of Interest for the operation of emergency or transitional housing specifically for LGBTQ2S youth.
The 2015 City operating budget contains funding for up to 54 new beds for this vulnerable group. The Toronto Walmer Rd. Sprott YMCA Centre program will offer youth a chance to stabilize their lives, learn new skills, access education, employment and housing supports while living in a safe and supportive environment. The YMCA will also be partnering with a variety of youth-serving and LGBTQ2S serving organizations and community advocates to ensure optimal service delivery to the clients it will house.
Our office looks forward to working closely with the YMCA and Shelter, Support and Housing Administration at the City to support this vital new initiative.
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