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Celebrating Pride Month and New Program for LGBTQI+ Youth

Photo of Members of the Anchor House team at the Princeton Pride Parade.
Members of the Anchor House team at the Princeton Pride Parade.

Anchor House is proud to support the LGBTQI+ population during Pride Month and every month of the year.

This month we had a resource table at the LGBTQI+ Prom sponsored by the Youth Coalition of Mercer County and walked in the Princeton Pride Parade organized by the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice.

Anchor House has long been responsive to LGBTQI+ youth and was the first agency in the state to be awarded a supportive housing grant to serve this population. We are excited to launch a new Rapid Rehousing (RRH) program later this year tailored for LGBTQI+ youth.

Currently, Anchor House offers RRH through a partnership with the Trenton/Mercer Continuum of Care (CoC) for young adults ages 18-24 who are HUD eligible for supportive housing. In 2023, 36% of the young adults in our RRH program identified as LGBTQI+.

To further meet the needs of LGBTQI+ youth, we are launching a new RRH program with the CoC later this year that will offer similar services of our current RRH program including rental assistance, case management, employment and educational assistance, life skills training and assistance with housing counseling and searches, but tailored to meet the specific needs of this population of youth.

Anchor House decided to focus on this population as research shows that LGBTQI+ youth are overrepresented among young people experiencing homelessness and housing instability and are twice as likely to commit suicide compared to non-LGBTQI+ youth who are homeless.

We recognize that LGBTQI+ youth have unique needs based on their identities and need no barriers to welcoming and affirming housing options. This population of youth is more likely to endure discrimination and harassment that extends their homelessness.

As part of this new program, youth will be educated on laws like the Fair Housing Act that protect the rights of LGBTQI+ youth and with legal services if they feel their rights have been violated.  Anchor House also offers and connects all youth in our programs that are struggling with depression and other mental health issues with counseling and screenings that are culturally responsive and LGBTQI+ affirming to deter these youth from attempting or committing suicide.

In our 2023 Impact Report, Anchor House featured a story about how our Coordinated Entry Assessment System (CEAS) team connected a youth who had been physically assaulted and abused by family members after coming out as transgender with housing through a community partner.

After the placement in permanent housing, the youth said, “I can’t believe I am safe in my own apartment.”

Every young person deserves to feel safe in their own home and our goal is to do all we can at Anchor House to make this happen for the youth and young adults we serve.

Make a donation today to support our programs that provide a safe environment for youth and young adults