Mayor Announces HUD Grant to Support LGBTQ+ Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Baltimore
Wednesday Jul 7th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, July 7, 2021) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that Baltimore’s Continuum of Care received a two-year, $488,083 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a new transitional housing project to provide shelter to LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness.
The grant will fund a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) and Baltimore Safe Haven (BSH) – a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for a higher quality of life for transgender people and others in Baltimore City living in survival mode – for housing that targets unaccompanied, homeless youth 16-24 years of age.
“For many of our LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness, this grant represents the difference between security and vulnerability as they transition to permanent housing,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Baltimore Safe Haven has been a true partner and I know that they will work diligently to utilize these funds for the benefit of our youth and of our communities.”
National data provided by The Trevor Project estimates that approximately 40 percent of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+. The transitional housing program will offer seven housing units and case management services that connect youth to primary healthcare and mental health services as well as programming that includes financial literacy, GED classes, and workforce development/employment opportunities.
“Baltimore Safe Haven is deeply grateful for the support of Baltimore City and the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services as we move towards a more equitable housing system for the TLGBQ community,” said a spokesperson for Baltimore Safe Haven. “This project is the first step in a larger suite of programs for the trans community of Baltimore, and as the largest all TLGBQ staffed nonprofit in Maryland, we are in a unique position to build a more inclusive infrastructure for one of the most underserved communities in the state.”
The partnership between MOHS and Baltimore Safe Haven is one of four Youth Homelessness Demonstration Programs (YHDP) in Baltimore City. All YHDPs are federally funded and designed to prevent and end youth homelessness. Other YHDP projects launched this spring include a shelter diversion project, a rapid rehousing project, and a permanent supportive housing project.
“None of our young neighbors should feel like they are ‘invisible’,” said Irene Agustin, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services. “To end homelessness in Baltimore, we must ensure that our efforts are inclusive and made for the specific needs of our most vulnerable community members, especially those who experience discrimination because of their identity and sexual orientation. I look forward to our continued work with Baltimore Safe Haven to close this gap in our housing system.”