Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro announced on April 27 that HUD has partnered with the True Colors Fund to address the problems of homeless LGBT youth
In his announcement, which was delivered via a video on Facebook, Castro says, “In January of 2015 more than 46,000 youth were estimated to be homeless on any given night. Up to 40 percent of these young people identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That why the Department of Housing and Urban Development is partnering with the True Colors Fund to give LGBT Americans a safe space to be their true selves.”
In order to highlight the partnership, Castro proclaimed April 27 as “#40toNoneDay,” to raise public awareness about LGBT youth homelessness and to provide supporters with simple ways to make a difference.
Co-founded by singer Cyndi Lauper, The True Colors Fund was established to help end homelessness among LGBT youth through community organizing, public engagement, public policy, research and youth collaboration.
In 2014 HUD and True Colors launched the LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative with two objectives: to facilitate better local collaboration between stakeholders working with youth and developing strategies for preventing homelessness among LGBT youth. The initiative was rolled out in two test cities, Cincinnati, Ohio and Houston, Texas.
In Houston, a program called NEST is being implemented by the Montrose Center and the Coalition for the Homeless Houston/Harris County in collaboration with more than 60 Houston/ Harris County youth agencies and service providers.
Cincinnati is implementing Safe and Supported, led by Lighthouse Youth Services and Strategies to End Homelessness. Safe and Supported’s aim is insure every LGBT young person has stable housing, health care, education, employment, and emotional connections.
Since assuming the post of HUD secretary, Castro has supported initiatives which promote the LGBT community’s right to fair housing opportunities.
At the top the HUD LGBT web page a quote from Castro says, “HUD is committed to fighting unjust discrimination and to expanding housing opportunity for all. We believe there are no second-class citizens. And I will do every single thing that I can to make sure that everyone is protected.”