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True Colors- New York’s first supportive housing for LGBTQ homeless youth

09.24.2018

​True Colors Residence (TCR), a project of West End Residences, was the first permanent supportive housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) youth with a history of homelessness. 

True Colors Residence (TCR), a project of West End Residences, was the first permanent supportive housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) youth with a history of homelessness. This profoundly underserved population is estimated to make up nearly 40% of homeless youth in New York City. Opening in September 2011 in Harlem, it offers 30 units of supportive housing for formerly homeless LGBTQ New Yorkers aged 18-24.

True Colors was developed in partnership with Grammy-award winning artist Cyndi Lauper and her manager, longtime West End Residences volunteer Lisa Barbaris. It arose from a simple question: What can nonprofits do to help LGBTQ homeless youth in New York City? Lauper discussed the issue with her manager Lisa Barbaris and then Executive Director of West End Residences, Colleen Jackson. The three arrived at a bold, untried solution: supportive housing. 

"I'm lost for words; I'm so happy right now," said Priscilla Rumnit, one of the building’s tenants. "I’m just so excited for this place. Here, I know that I'm safe.”

 

True Colors in Harlem was just the beginning of the legacy of West End Residences to provide housing to the LGBTQ homeless youth. A second True Colors Bronx opened doors in 2015 and West End Residences has plans to open up a True Colors in all five boroughs of New York City. 

 

 

 


 

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