Connect with us

People

“Pride Place” at Virginia Home for Boys and Girls aims to reduce homelessness of LGBTQ+ young adults

At no cost to participants, the Pride Place at VHBG program will provide safe, transitional housing for 14-18 homeless LGBTQ+ young adults annually who are between the ages of 18- 25. Side by Side will provide the case management, intake and overall support for LGBTQ+ young adults while VHBG will provide the physical space, emergency response and opportunities for learning life skills.

RVAHub Staff

Published

on

Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (VHBG) and Side by Side have launched a partnership called Pride Place at VHBG to serve LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homelessness.

“LGBTQ+ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness compared to their peers. Although this was all the case before COVID-19, the pandemic is exacerbating an already growing problem and we are bracing for an increase in need from our community,” said Ted Lewis, Side by Side executive director.

At no cost to participants, the Pride Place at VHBG program will provide safe, transitional housing for 14-18 homeless LGBTQ+ young adults annually who are between the ages of 18- 25. Side by Side will provide the case management, intake, and overall support for LGBTQ+ young adults while VHBG will provide the physical space, emergency response, and opportunities for learning life skills. Clients will be paired with Peer Navigators through a partnership with the Nationz Foundation. Each client has their timeline for length of stay, but will typically live at the residence from two to six months.

“Virginia Home for Boys and Girls and Side by Side share a mission to provide care to young people in crisis. Our trauma-informed approach is infused into all of our transitional living services, including our Independent Living Arrangement (ILA) program that provides a strong foundation for Pride Place at VHBG,” said Claiborne Warner, VHBG president.

The Pride Place at VHBG program will be located in two brick homes on VHBG’s 30+ acre campus in Henrico County. Originally built to house staff, these well-equipped homes provide private bedrooms, and communal living and kitchen space.

One of the homes recently underwent a complete remodel through a donation from Lowe’s Home Improvement. Lowe’s also recently provided kitchen appliances for use in the second home. Homes are fully furnished and equipped with necessities including bedding and kitchen gear thanks to volunteers from Thalhimers, Pay It Forward, and Costco.

Pride Place at VHBG brings together two strong, successful nonprofits, drawing the perfect blend of expertise in independent living arrangements, trauma-informed care, LGBTQ+ specific needs, and youth services to reach a specific population of homeless young people who otherwise are likely to face living on the streets.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are expediting our efforts to match the rapidly growing need. The moratorium on evictions extends only till May 31, so our partnership launch is in time for a possible spike in homelessness. Our homes are already constructed for independent living situations and our organizational partnership formed before the pandemic, so we can move quickly and anticipate opening the homes in June to meet the immediate need,” stated Warner.

About the issue

  • Side by Side along with partners at the Nationz Foundation and the Virginia Anti-Violence Project launched a Host Home program last year but recognized that multiple safe and affirming housing options for youth were needed.
  • LGBTQ+ youth are at a greater risk for homelessness. 40 percent of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+, yet LGBTQ+ youth-only account for 9 percent of the youth population.
  • Locally, the Youth Count study by Advocates for Richmond Youth showed 35% of youth in Richmond who are experiencing housing instability identify as LGBTQ+.
  • LGBTQ+ youth face homelessness and housing instability at disproportional and alarming rates, but there are currently few housing services in our region specifically for them to address this problem.
  • Family conflict is the most common cause of all youth homelessness. For LGBTQ+ youth, in particular, the conflict tends to be over their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness are more likely to be robbed, physically or sexually assaulted, or be a victim of a hate crime.
  • A 2019 report from the Williams Institute noted that 22% of the LGBTQ+ community live in poverty compared to 16% of the general population, putting our LGBTQ+ youth at risk for falling through the cracks and into homelessness.
  • LGBTQ+ people, particularly LGBTQ+ young adults, are overrepresented in the restaurant and food industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic.
  • LGBTQ+ youth often don’t have a family connection to fall back on and seek support from. As a result, those who are newly unemployed are not far from being newly homeless.
  • One of the homes recently underwent a complete remodel thanks to the generosity of Lowe’s Home Improvement. Lowe’s also recently donated kitchen appliances for use in the second home.
  • Homes are fully furnished and equipped with necessities including bedding and kitchen gear thanks to volunteers from Thalhimer, Pay It Forward, and Costco.
  • Participants of the Pride Place at VHBG program will also have access to VHBG’s ILA Commons, a communal gathering space that includes a computer room, exercise room, relaxation room, and recreational equipment.
  • Side by Side regularly receives referrals from other homeless services agencies including Homeward, the Possibilities Project, and the McKinney Vento Project. Additionally, Side by Side has built strong relationships with St. Joseph’s Villa and their new youth outreach program to identify youth experiencing homelessness in the City as well as Commonwealth Catholic Charities and Advocates for Richmond Youth’s new Youth Hub. Referrals are also received from local foster care agencies, youth detention centers, and area hospitals.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Downtown

New report finds Virginia Capital Trail generated $8.9 million in local economic activity last year

The report concluded that the Capital Trail contributed approximately $8.9 million in economic activity during FY 2018-19. The Trail which has seen a 65% increase in trail usage in March and a 46% increase in April over last year, is a driving stimulus for local business, tourism, and economic activity, the report found.

Avatar

Published

on

The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation recently released an economic impact report by the University of Richmond in collaboration with the Institute for Service Research, the findings were significant.

The report concluded that the Capital Trail contributed approximately $8.9 million in economic activity during FY 2018-19. The Trail which has seen a 65% increase in trail usage in March and a 46% increase in April over last year, is a driving stimulus for local business, tourism, and economic activity, the report found.

The full economic impact report can be found here.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Food & Drink

No Kid Hungry Virginia offers families access to free meals for kids this summer via text message

The summer months are already one of the hungriest times of year for many children. The need will be even greater this summer with more than 10% of Virginians facing unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RVAHub Staff

Published

on

Free meal programs for children will continue to be available across Virginia during the summer. No Kid Hungry Virginia encourages families to text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find free summer food sites organized by school districts and community organizations.

Meal sites are offering a variety of distribution models to help safely connect students with meals and promote social distancing, including “Grab and Go” service and food delivery along bus routes while passing out multiple days’ worth of meals at one-time.

The summer months are already one of the hungriest times of year for many children. The need will be even greater this summer with more than 10% of Virginians facing unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent estimates show that as many as 1 in 4 children could experience food insecurity in the aftermath of this crisis.

“A big challenge is making sure families know how to find resources,” said Sarah Steely, No Kid Hungry Virginia Associate Director. “Please share the texting number with family and friends and on social networks, and check with your local school division for the most detailed information. We need to make everyone is aware of free meal resources in their communities.”

The Summer Meals program is funded by the USDA and operated by school districts and local organizations. Schools have been utilizing the Summer Meals program to operate emergency meal sites throughout the pandemic. Families can text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 and type in a zip code to find nearby summer meal sites, along with operating days and times. No application or registration is required at sites.

Summer hunger can have a long-term impact on a child’s health, ability to learn, and general well-being. No Kid Hungry Virginia is focused on providing funding and strategic assistance to schools and local organizations implementing summer meal programs to help them reach more kids during the pandemic.

Visit va.nokidhungry.org for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia’s work.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

People

Kroger offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Striker Park in Short Pump through Thursday

People who need a test will use a virtual screening tool based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to see if they are eligible. Eligibility for testing is based on CDC, state, and local government recommendations.

RVAHub Staff

Published

on

Through Thursday, Kroger Health will offer a COVID-19 Drive-Thru testing site at Richmond Striker Park in Glen Allen.

Community members can register here. People who need a test will use a virtual screening tool based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to see if they are eligible. Eligibility for testing is based on CDC, state, and local government recommendations.

Eligible people will then select the appropriate testing location and appointment time and receive an email confirmation with pre-appointment paperwork. When the patient arrives for a test, they should have a photo ID ready and leave their windows rolled up for check-in. A health care practitioner will approach the car and alert the patient when to roll down the window.

The drive-thru testing location has a self-administered nasal swab that must be ordered and observed by a provider. Kroger determined their testing methodology because it increases the number of tests that can be provided while conserving the personal protective equipment utilized.

This onsite testing is supported by the laboratory services provided by eTrueNorth, a contractor of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Test results are expected within approximately 48 hours. Kroger Health is expected to administer 150 tests per day.

The testing site is open June 23rd through 25th from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Striker Park is located at 4801 Pouncey Tract Road near Short Pump Middle School.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Richmond Weather