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Cyndi Lauper to Open Homeless Shelter for LGBT Youth

Cyndi Lauper to Open Homeless Shelter for LGBT Youth

Singer and 80s icon Cyndi Lauper has a long history with the LGBT community, appearing as Grand Marshall in the 2008 San Francisco Pride Parade and founding the Give A Damn campaign for equality. Now, Lauper is getting ready to open a homeless shelter for LGBT youth in New York.

“In New York City, a very disproportionate number (up to 40%) of homeless youth identify as LGBT,” the Grammy-winning artist wrote in a press release. “Even more disturbing are reports that these young people often face discrimination and at times physical assault in some of the very places they have to [sic] for help. This is shocking and inexcusable!

“Our primary goal is to provide a physically and emotionally safe and supportive environment that will empower our young residents to be the self-loving, happy and successful individuals they were meant to be.”

The True Colors Residence, named for Lauper’s 1986 hit song, will be the first permanent housing facility for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in New York State. Welcoming residents ages 18 to 24, the facility will consist of 30 energy-efficient studio apartments with indoor and outdoor community spaces. Lauper’s organization will also offer educational programs and employment assistance based on the residents’ individual skills and interests.

Social workers around the city are ecstatic about the new facility. Although True Colors Residence won’t open until September 1, other LGBT community organizations are already referring potential residents.

“There are fewer than 200 beds for homeless youth in New York City, and fewer than ten beds for homeless LBGT youth,” Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center, told WNYC radio. “So every new bed aimed at this new population is really a matter of life and death that could get kids off the street.”

Jeanne B. Mullgrav, commissioner of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, agreed. “[W]ith the opening of the True Colors Residence, more housing and services will be available to help our most vulnerable youth succeed and thrive,” she said.

To find out more about True Colors Residence or make a donation, click here.

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Photo credit: Cary Bass (Creative Commons Share Alike)

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93 comments

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4:50PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

What an amazing woman. Love her and her music

5:01AM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

Bless you girl!

4:23PM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

I absolutely love this woman!!!

6:55PM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

You go Cyndi...good on you!

3:38AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Awesome!!

2:08AM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

Thanks Ms. Lauper! You are a true hero!

12:59AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

Good for Cyndi!

4:43AM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

I am glad to see any work on getting the homeless housed. It is cheaper for the rest of society within four to five years to the homeless off the streets into low-income housing. The poor also need affordable health care (those federal health center-- government subsidized clinics for the poor) are certainly better than nothing. And the poor need an employer of last resort program to keep them busy and out of mischief--earning a modest living doing something constructive if they are able to do any useful work, with disability pension as a backup for those who can't be either placed in a community service employment program type job with a non-profit or used directly in something like the WPA of the 1930s.

9:10PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Empress G., you miss the point. It is BECAUSE LBGTs are more at risk, that Cyndi is helping them! And it is HER vision for years and HER project. These are the kids who have been left out of ordinary help programs or are at risk within them. Good for Cyndi -- love her!

3:38PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Good for her, but I wish she'd not limit her help to just homeless teens who are gay...straight kids have troubles and family drama and addictions and troubles too.

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