by Robin Beaudoin | images courtesy of OUTMemphis
OUTMemphis is pleased to announce it has successfully secured the funds needed to construct the Youth Emergency Shelter, the cornerstone of its Metamorphosis Project.The construction goal was met following the award of a $125,000 Capital Grant from the Plough Foundation. Combined with previous donations from foundations and individuals, including a $125,000 challenge grant from the Assisi Foundation, and year-long fundraising for the project by Mystic Krewe of Pegasus, this gift enables OUTMemphis to move forward with construction of the shelter itself. The group can now direct fundraising efforts from construction towards securing the dollars needed to provide vital support services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth.
The Metamorphosis Project Youth Services Center will provide emergency shelter for LGBTQ homeless young people who cannot be housed by any other existing organization. During the day, the Youth Services Center will function as a drop-in center for youth, both LGBTQ and straight. It will serve as a central location for a wide range of services. Young adults, 18-24 years old, will have access to food, clothing, personal care supplies, mentoring, job and educational placement assistance, life skills classes, mental and emotional health services, and other needed support.
Combined with a Rapid Rehousing program, the project will provide all the tools necessary for young LGBTQ people with the tools to move from the street to independence.
When open, The Metamorphosis Project Youth Services Center will be the only homeless shelter in Memphis designed around the unique needs of young people. “For years, OUTMemphis has provided many of the services that our young people needed but what we couldn’t provide was housing,” said Stephanie Reyes, OUTMemphis’ Youth Services Manager. Reyes said it’s so di cult to be rejected by one’s own family. “We call it getting kicked out when you come out… This is our dream coming true for helping LGBTQ youth on the street.”
This expansion of the community services via Metamorphosis Project is one of many plans in the works of the OUTMemphis board of directors. Future plans include moving the OUTMemphis community center to a larger space, with hopes of expanding meeting spaces and programming to meet the needs of a growing community.
All community members are encouraged to donate and become involved with the welfare of these projects.
OUTMemphis Mission: OUTMemphis empowers, connects, educates and advocates for the LGBTQ community of the Mid-South.
OUTMemphis Vision: LGBTQ individuals live in a world where everyone has equal rights, and is safe, respected and celebrated.