Human Resources and Nonprofits

LGBT fund awards grants

May 18, 2017
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Well House Youth House
Well House's six-bedroom Youth House is for young adults 18-24 who are facing or experiencing homelessness. Photo via fb.com

Our LGBT Fund at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation recently awarded grants totaling $47,500 to four West Michigan nonprofits that serve homeless and at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

The endowed fund was launched recently, thanks to donors Carol Sarosik and Shelley Padnos. It is sustained with donations from the community.

Grant recipients

Arbor Circle received $20,000 for the Safe Impact/True Colors program.

The organization plans to establish a partnership with the nationally recognized True Colors Fund, created by singer Cyndi Lauper. The True Colors Fund works to end homelessness among LGBT youth.

The goal of the local project is to develop a strategic plan and create support strategies with the goal of ending homelessness for LGBT young people. Arbor Circle will serve as a liaison to the True Colors Fund and lead planning efforts toward the full development and implementation of the strategic plan.

Well House received $20,000 to purchase and renovate a house for young people who identify as LGBTQ and who are facing or experiencing homelessness.

Well House opened its first youth home earlier this year, a six-bedroom home on Madison Avenue, which is dedicated housing for youth 18-24 who've become homeless, because they've aged out of the foster care system and/or because they are LGBT and have been rejected by their families.

The second youth house will be focused specifically on youth who have become homeless based on their sexual/gender identification.

Out on the Lakeshore received $5,000 to help establish the Out on the Lakeshore Center, a place where Holland-area LGBT people and their families, friends and allies can safely gather and meet.

The center will be used for organizational meetings, support groups and social functions, and it will be a place where LGBT youth can connect with one another and organizations to offer support services.

The Grand Rapids Trans Foundation received $2,500 to provide one college or trade school scholarship for a transgender student.

The Grand Rapids Trans Foundation has been providing scholarships since 2015.

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