In January 2017, we will launch Unity House II, which will further support our efforts to meet the housing demand for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness in East County.
Last year, New Avenues opened Unity House in SE Portland – Oregon’s firs ever housing program specifically for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. The opportunity was made possible through strategic investments from Multnomah County and REACH CDC.
Research shows that while LGBTQ youth represent 7% of the overall youth population in the U.S., they represent up to 40% of all youth experiencing homelessness. The primary reason cited for homelessness among LGBTQ youth is family rejection, and research shows that many youth are kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In terms of solution, a recent survey among service providers ranked housing as the top need for LGBTQ homeless youth.
With oversight from SMYRC staff, Unity House II will operate similarly to Unity House. The program is run democratically, with residents working together to meet the day-to-day responsibilities of the house; each resident also receives case management from SMYRC staff to address their specific individual needs, including counseling and connection to education, job training, employment, mental-health services, and other supports.
New Avenues welcomes donations of items to help make Unity House II a home; please contact Hana Sant if you’re interested in helping provide any of the items listed below at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Sheets and blankets
• Kitchen utensils, including: silverware, mixing spoons, spatulas, sharp knives, peeler
• Cutting boards
• Plates, cups, bowls
• Mixing bowls
• Storage containers
• Cheese grater
• Bottle opener, Can opener
• Garbage can
• Pots and Pans
• Shower curtain
• Toilet plunger
• Garbage cans