We are excited to announce our 4th 2022 Spring Grant Recipient!
Thanks to our generous Legacy Giving Circle donor community, City House is receiving a $25,000 grant towards their LGBTQ-affirming Transitional Living Program in Plano, TX!
Initiative Description: There are 15,000+ youth in North Texas who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ). The Texas Education Agency reports 13,745 homeless students in the City House service area. While these two figures may seem unrelated, they are not. At 40%, the largest subpopulation of homeless and runaway youth nationally self-identify as LGBTQ. Considering that LGBTQ youth represent an estimated 9% of the total youth population, these numbers are disproportionately high.
Family conflict—the primary cause of homelessness—is common when youth express a sexual orientation or gender identity different from parental expectations. In fact, more than 25% of LGBTQ youth who come out to their parents are subsequently thrown out of their homes. LGBTQ youth experience homelessness for a variety of other reasons as well, including the intersection of homophobia & transphobia, poverty, and failed systems.
Once homeless, LGBTQ youth are even more vulnerable and at increased risk for victimization, unsafe sexual practices, and mental health issues than non-LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness. Therefore, in December 2021, City House began enhancing our Transitional Living Program (TLP) to better serve LGBTQ young people. We need additional support to provide specialized programming for staff and residents at one of our three TLP homes designated to be welcoming for LGBTQ clients.
A dedicated case manager with deep knowledge of and experience with the LGBTQ community will ensure LGBTQ young people in crisis aged 18-21 receive safe, welcoming shelter; needs assessment; specialized counseling; life skills; community service opportunities; and aftercare services. LGBTQ young people will have the chance to remain in their local schools and communities while we work to strengthen family relationships, and, in the absence of family reunification, support them in finding safe and appropriate living arrangements where they can fulfill their potential as independent adults.
The TLP stay is centered around affirming, trauma-informed counseling and evidence-based Casey Life Skills classes on topics like interpersonal skill building, educational advancement, job attainment skills, money management, budgeting, and consumer education. This range of services will support LGBTQ young people in resisting and overcoming the systemic discrimination they have experienced and help them develop into self-sufficient, confident members of the community.
Initiative Impact: “These last thirty days have been nothing less than transformational … I was flabbergasted when they accepted me on the spot. I nearly cried that day, it was unforgettable. I am so proud of my growth.”
– Transitional Living Program Client, 2021
As the sole evidence-based, strengths-based, trauma-informed, and LGBTQ-affirming Transitional Living Program (TLP) serving homeless 18-21 year-olds in a 6-country North Texas area, the City House TLP has received highly competitive federal funding since 2002. Because our positive youth development approach offers clients a wealth of resources to aid in their growth toward independent living, the TLP has a strong history of positive outcomes in the four federally-recognized core areas of social and emotional wellbeing, permanent connections, education/employment, and safe and stable housing.
As homeless young people experience safety in the Transitional Living Program and participate in our evidence-based Casey Life Skills program and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, we project the following outcomes:
• At least 80% of youth who participate in counseling will maintain progress in their overall well-being and improved interpersonal & communication skills, as well as utilization of coping skills.
• 90% of TLP youth will exit to a safe and stable destination.
• 86% of exiting TLP youth will be attending school, have graduated from high school, or obtained a GED.
• 95% of exiting TLP youth will be employed or looking for work.
City House maintains diverse funding streams, including special events, federal, state, and local, and private grants, CPS fees, and more. The City House Transitional Living Program has received federal funding since 2002.
City House received a special federal grant in September 2021 for the LGBTQ program, and we will apply for a new general TLP grant in 2022 that should provide approximately 60% of the program’s budget needs. Events and private grants will provide the balance of the program’s budget need. Each year, we work to expand our funding streams because we know the community values and is supported by our work.