LGBTQ youth-focused housing being developed in North End

February 02, 2020, 7:35 AM

Young people identifying as LGBTQ are often at high risk for homelessness. They're more likely to be kicked out of family homes, or run away from them, leaving them at high risk of being exploited, using drugs or other forms of harm. 

Pride on display in Detroit in June.

The Detroit News reports the Ruth Ellis Center will address the problem with the construction of 43 supportive housing units on Clairmount near Woodward. 

James David Dickson reports:

Thirty-four of the units will be offered supported by vouchers that will cover most, if not all, of their expense. Eight units will be offered at low-cost. The final unit will be home to a live-in peer support specialist.

The residents will have more than a roof over their head. A range of resources will be offered, including a live-in peer specialist, a health and wellness center, two case managers and a behavioral health specialist, said Jerry Peterson, executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center. Primary care doctors will be available as well as addiction and mental health counseling.

The target audience for the building is LGBT people from 18 to 25 years of age, Peterson said, “with a special emphasis on providing stable housing for transgender women of color.”

The Ruth Ellis Center, which provides services for LGBTQ youth, will collaborate with Full Circle Communities, "a non-profit developer out of Chicago and represents a movement toward offering a vulnerable community housing before tackling other issues that can lead to homelessness."

So-called "housing first" policy seeks to put a roof over vulnerable populations' heads, and then address their related issues. 

The total cost of the project will be about $15 million. 

Read more:  The Detroit News

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