Ground-breaking transitional home for LGBTQI2S youth to open December 1
TORONTO, Nov. 11, 2020 – Friends of Ruby, the charity dedicated to LGBTQI2S youth, is thrilled to announce the opening of the Friends of Ruby Home, an innovative custom-built transitional house for LGBTQI2S young people, aged 16-29. LGBTQI2S youth face disproportionately high rates of family rejection, trauma and violence and, due to fear of exclusion and harassment, many end up on the streets. The Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the LGBTQI2S community particularly hard, has intensified the crisis, particularly for Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) within the community.
Located at 257 Dundas St. East, Toronto, the Friends of Ruby Home was designed after comprehensive consultation with young people from the LGBTQI2S community with the aim to make it feel like a home – a warm and welcoming place that supports them wherever they are on their personal journeys. People between the ages of 16 and 29 who identify as LGBTQI2S can apply to live at the Friends of Ruby Home through an online application or through a referral by another service provider.
“The Friends of Ruby Home is uniquely suited to help LGBTQI2S youth during these times due to its one-of-a-kind mental health approach, including in-house programs and services tailored to their specific needs,” said Carol Osler, Friends of Ruby Executive Director. “From immediate crisis support to long-term life goal planning, everything at the facility will be geared towards helping youth achieve healthier, independent lives.”
Due to family rejection, many LGBTQI2S youth have a difficult relationship with the idea of ‘Home’. The Friends of Ruby Home will provide much more than a roof over their heads – for many, it will be the first place they experience community. It will house 33 LGBTQI2S youth (aged 16-29) in mostly individual rooms (with a few rooms for couples) along with shared spaces to foster a sense of connection. The facility is fully accessible, energy-efficient and pet-friendly, with a pet shower (serving the needs of the facility’s four-legged inhabitants) in the basement and a rooftop garden for solitude and leisure.
The official opening of the Friends of Ruby Home will take place on December 1, 2020, with staggered move-ins to take place throughout December and January. Keeping health and safety a top-of-mind priority, in-person attendee numbers for the ribbon-cutting will be limited, but all are welcome to join virtually on Tuesday, November 24th at 9:30am EST here.
Photos of the Friends of Ruby Home available here.
To learn more about Friends of Ruby programs and services, visit Friendsofruby.ca.
About Friends of Ruby
Friends of Ruby (formerly Egale Youth Service) is a registered charity dedicated to LGBTQI2S youth (aged 16-29) well-being through mental health services, social services and housing. Friends of Ruby’s approach is comprehensive, involving mind, body and community – we support LGBTQI2S youth, wherever they are on their personal journey. In addition to the Friends of Ruby Home, Friends of Ruby operates a Youth Centre (489 Queen St. East) encompassing a drop-in space and access to mental health and practical support services. For more details, please visit friendsofruby.ca.
For further information: Media Contacts: Max Mosher, Communications Lead, Friends of Ruby, [email protected]; Sofiya Yusypovych, Account Executive, Edelman, [email protected]