November is ‘Homeless Youth Awareness Month’ in the U.S.
A North Texas charity organization is ensuring a vulnerable group of young people has a safe place to stay.
For the first time in a long time, Mya T. feels at home.
“The bathrooms are really nice,” she said. “It feels like a resort and I’m ready to call it home.”
The 20-year-old said living her true self as a transgender woman left her homeless.
“When I came out, my parents were not accepting, so I had to leave,” she said.
Mya T. has now found hope and housing, thanks to Dallas Hope Charities.
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The non-profit purchased a house in an undisclosed location to serve as a transitional home, specifically for homeless LGBTQ youth, those 18-24 who often ensure rejections at home and at traditional homeless shelters.
“If I would go use the women’s restroom then people would be like you’re like in the wrong restroom,” recalls Mya T. “You wouldn’t feel safe. You would still feel like you’re on the streets but inside of a building.”
Hope Charities said nationally, about 40% of homeless youth do not identify as ‘straight.’ They are also 2.5 times more likely to encounter physical and sexual abuse in traditional shelter settings.
Donations made the purchase possible, according to CEO Evie Scrivner.
‘We are so grateful for all the donors and supporters that have made it possible for us to own our residence and expand our ability to give peace and dignity to our city’s youth that need support and encouragement to live their authentic and independent life,’ she said in a statement.
Dallas Hope Center opened in 2018. To date, they’ve helped house 14 LGBTQ youth in the city.
The new home will soon house eight people at a time, said Scrivner.
“My hope is that I can finally, and other people, can get [themselves] to a stable living situation where no one has to go through the pain that I felt or anyone out on the streets felt for just being themselves,” said Mya T.
Finishing touches are being made. Move-in is next week.
To learn more about the organization, click here.