LGBTQ Safety Dorm
LGBTQ Safety Dorm
The Center partners with Salvation Army, Bright Star Foundation, and Human Rights Campaign to expand its inclusive housing facility for LGBTQ individuals.
The 2019 Southern Nevada Homeless Census found that approximately 5,530 people faced housing insecurity in Clark County. Single adults make up a majority of the population at 88 percent, followed by unaccompanied youth, veterans and families and children. LGBTQ adults and youth are also among those at higher risk for housing insecurity, with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals being the most vulnerable. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in five transgender people in the U.S. have been discriminated against when seeking a home, and one in five transgender individuals have faced homelessness at some point in their lives. Experiencing higher rates of victimization from domestic and sexual violence, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are also many times targets of transphobic hate crimes, state violence, gender policing, discrimination in the workplace and various other issues related to their identities and safety.
The LGBTQ+ Center of Southern Nevada
For over 25 years, The Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBTQ+ individuals and those who are underserved in Nevada. We function as the heart and home of the LGBTQ+ community by making connections, delivering programs, and providing a safe space for health and wellness, social services, arts and culture, advocacy and community building. Ongoing Center programs support LGBTQ+ youth, adults, families, seniors, vets, people with disabilities, those living with HIV, and those who are underserved. Additionally, we are proud to offer the Center Advocacy Network, the first nationally accredited program of its kind with a focus on LGBTQ issues for victim advocacy. For more information on how The Center empowers everyone to thrive in Nevada, please visit https://www.thecenterlv.org.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, clothing and shelter for the homeless, disaster and heat relief, senior activity and outreach, adult rehabilitation, and opportunities for underprivileged children, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. Approximately 82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army are used to support its social services. In the first-ever listing of "America's Favorite Charities" by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country's largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmySouthernNevada.org, and follow us on Twitter @SalArmySoNV and #DoingTheMostGood.
Bright Star Foundation
Bright Star also assists with emergency help for youth without homes and coordinates with other homeless youth or LGBTQIA organizations, such as The Center, Shannon West and Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. In the past, Bright Star also helped to provide an LGBTQIA safety dorm at the Salvation Army, to provide a safer place for those in fear of experiencing homo/transphobia at the hands of other patrons.
Bright Star Foundation began working more closely with the Las Vegas LGBTQ Center (The Center) in 2018. The Center was already serving youth without homes by connecting them to services and innovating ways to help when services were not available. The collaboration helped connect Bright Star resources and youth in need who sought help at The Center.
The foundation and the Center formalized their relationship with a Memorandum of Understanding, coordinated by Macfarlane, The Center's Trans and Gender Diversity Program manager. Macfarlane spends part of their time serving as the executive director of Bright Star Foundation, and The Center is reimbursed for a portion of her salary by Bright Star.
In late 2020, Bright Star, in collaboration with The Center, expanded its mission to provide more accessible, affordable and inclusive housing for vulnerable LGBTQIA people of all ages, struggling to find long-term stability.
Raffin and the Estate of Jon Gathercole purchased two four-plex apartments and then donated those buildings to Bright Star Foundation. Jon's generous and joyful sprit lives on in the newly renovated buildings. Keeping with Claude's French heritage and Jon's love of France, the buildings are named Maison 1 de Jon Gathercole and Maison 2 de Jon Gathercole.
Residents are expected to be self-supporting and to pay rent of $400 to $500 per resident. Bright Star works with residents to overcome barriers to housing such as lack of identification, finding enough money for security deposits or for first and last month's rent, or the ability to prove double or triple income. Residents are assisted in finding and navigating housing and assistance resources.
The Center has hosted many LGBTQIA job fairs and over the last year-and-a-half, has worked to collect LGBTQIA inclusive job listings, help with resumes and other job support, through a grant from Bank of America. Waldron says the community can help provide support for residents in finding employment or acquiring job search skills and tools. Job listings can be shared to Facebook.com/groups/LVQueerJobs, to assist residents and anyone in the community looking for employment.