GLBT HOST HOME PROGRAM
The GLBT Host Home Program was created in 1997 out of a grassroots effort to address GLBTQ youth homelessness. Originally hosted at YouthLink, it moved to Avenues for Homeless Youth in January 2007.
The GLBT Host Home Program is an ‘outside-the-system’ community and volunteer-based response to youth homelessness. It offers a transformative and intimate approach to providing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth who are experiencing homelessness with homes and support. We have intentionally kept this program small and non-institutional, with up to 10 youth participating at a time. All youth who participate in our program are queer-identified and the majority is POC.
As volunteers of the program, adults open their homes and their hearts to young people who need and are looking for a healthy and stable connection, in addition to basic needs. This experience of sharing resources and lives is challenging and powerful, both for the youth and hosts. There is nothing easy about this. As we often say when describing this process, it can be messy and magical.
The GLBT Host Home Program is a strong, resilient, and nationally recognized community-based program – one with 20 years of history. The focus has been on taking care of basic needs while simultaneously fostering connections and building community. Ultimately, this program is about empowering a community to take care of itself while at the same time working with others organizing for social justice, especially racial and economic justice. We advocate for moving beyond just responding to homelessness and, in fact, making social changes needed to truly end homelessness.
The GLBT Host Home Program is fortunate to have a strong Advisory Council – a group of community members that has included past youth participants, hosts, and community organizers from other local programs and organizations. The Advisory Council – whether large or small – helps ensure that the program stays informed by a philosophy of solidarity and a passion for social change. It has always been a multi-racial, multi-gendered, and cross-generational council of activists.
Current Advisory Council Members
If you are a youth worker/case manager wanting to refer a young person to the GLBT HHP, please see forms below:
If you are a young person interested in the GLBT HHP and you do not have a youth worker/case manager, please call Rosie Benser at 612-750-9503. Thanks!
Were you or are you a youth or host in GLBT HHP? Please let us know about your experiences by filling out an online, confidential (and QUICK) evaluation!
Your feedback is much appreciated!