The Washington, DC metropolitan area has a large population of homeless youth and over 40% of them identify as LGBTQ+. The LGBTQ+ Working Group is working to expand capacity within the agency to serve this vulnerable community. Friendship Place already provides services focused on homeless youth, and a greater focus on LGBTQ+ homeless youth would be a logical extension of our current efforts.
Not only does Friendship Place have a diverse staff including many members who identify as LGBT or Q, but we also emphasizes LGBTQ+ awareness and competency training for our entire staff. Friendship Place has provided services to the LGBTQ+ community since its inception and has always been supportive of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. The city has a need for LGBTQ+ youth services and Friendship Place has the tools, expertise, and commitment to address this critical need.
Our LGBTQ+ Workgroup
Our LGBTQ+ Workgroup meets on a monthly basis via Zoom video conferencing and anyone is welcome to attend! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend a meeting. We welcome guest speakers from other groups and are eager to partner, advocate and ally with you.
The LGBTQ+ Workgroup of Friendship Place is a collective of Staff, Participants, Board, and Volunteers committed to ensuring that all programs, services, and expressions of Friendship Place are considered welcoming, affirming, inclusive, and safer for LGBTQ+ community members and allies. We seek to continuously expand our awareness, competency, and sensitivity through action and advocacy throughout the broader Friendship Place community and community at-large.
Outreach & Advocacy
• Create and disseminate a quarterly newsletter.
• Build relationships and partner with other organizations that focus on homelessness and LGBTQ+ persons for action and advocacy as needs arise.
• Build and maintain an active social media presence by posting educational articles, calls to action, and invitations to participate in any relevant upcoming events through FP social media accounts.
Inclusivity within Friendship Place
• Assess LGBTQ+ inclusiveness and Friendship Place and make recommendations for any needed changes or additions.
• Partner with FP to hold at least 2 relevant trainings on LGBTQ+ cultural competence or other areas relevant to the WG’s mission in the next fiscal year.
• Raise funds for LGBTQ+ specific services or programming within Friendship Place.
In recognition of Pride 2021 our work group presented a five-part webinar series. The recorded sessions are available at the following links:
June 2, 2021: “LGBTQ+ 101: Basics of Welcoming & Inclusion”
June 16, 2021: “History and Cultural Impact of the LGBTQ+ Community”
June 30, 2021: “Knowing the ‘T’: Understanding Transgender Experiences”
July 14, 2021: “Systems Inequity and Impact on LGBTQ+”
July 28, 2021: “Advocacy, Resistance, and LGBTQ+ Resilience”
LGBTQ+ Workgroup Quarterly Newsletters
LGBTQ+ Youth Overcoming Barriers: A Conversation
Everyone deserves a place to call home. Unfortunately, identifying as LGBTQ+ brings up barriers to housing that can seem insurmountable. In September 2019 we hosted a conversation about the barriers to housing that LGBTQ+ youth experience and how we can all help.
Moderated by Chief Development Officer Chris Rutledge the conservation included Michael Yudin, Principal at The Raben Group and Tiffini Jackson of Friendship Place’s Young Adult, Before Thirty program. Opening and closing remarks were made by Friendship Place President & CEO Jean-Michel Giraud. A Friendship Place participant also spoke about her experience with homelessness as an LGBTQ+ youth.
Friendship Place Spring Symposium: Young, LGBTQ+ & Homeless
In April 2017, we hosted a symposium about the local and national challenges of homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth and how organizations like Friendship Place are helping. “Young, LGBTQ+ & Homeless” included Ray Suarez, former host of Al Jazeera America’s Inside Story and the following panelists:
- Timothy V. Kane, MDiv, MTh, Associate Director of Inclusion Initiatives, Multicultural Student Services Center, George Washington University
- Leandrea D. Gilliam, Program Analyst & Housing Specialist, Executive Office of the Mayor
- Sean Read, Director of the Welcome Center, Friendship Place
- Diego Miguel Sanchez, APR, Director of Policy, PFLAG
- Kahlib Barton, Vice Chair, Young Black Gay Mens’ Leadership Initiative, and Member, National Youth Forum on Homelessness