The Aqua Foundation for Women gave out a $30,000 grant Nov. 19 to support a Miami-based project that aims to help homeless LGBT youth.
Each year, Aqua gives out between one and 10 grants with this year’s recipient being The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth Rapid Rehousing Program. The Alliance’s new program is the first of its kind in Miami-Dade county, though other communities have seen success with similar programs, The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth Executive Director Pauline Green said.
Applications to apply for Aqua’s grant opened in September, according to its website. Aqua Managing Director Robin Schwartz said they wanted to give the grant money to an organization that focused on LGBT youth homelessness.
“This is an issue that is still large and that we care about very much,” Schwartz said.
Thanks to the grant, The Alliance will now be able to launch its Rapid Rehousing Program which is made up of three parts, Green said.
First, the program will help homeless LGBT youth find somewhere that meets their living needs. It will then provide time-limited rental assistance followed by case management that will provide them with training in life skills and legal support, as well as anything else the participating youth may need.
Around 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT, Green said, so The Alliance is co-chairs of an initiative to end youth homelessness by 2020 along with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Miami Homes for All. It also works intimately with the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.
As soon as it was announced that Aqua wanted its grant recipient to focus on LGBT youth homelessness, Green knew it would be a good opportunity to start the program.
“We knew that this was a match made in heaven,” Green said. “I knew immediately that we would be applying for those funds.”
With the money from the Aqua grant, The Alliance is expecting to be able to help 25 to 30 young people find a place to live, Green said. Since this is a pilot program, she is hoping that the results that come out of the Rapid Rehousing Program’s first year will make them eligible for future grants to continue their work to end LGBT youth homelessness.
“We're thrilled and honored to be entrusted with these important funds in our community,” she said. “We're really excited to bring this to our young people.”