Neighborhood cookout celebrates future LGBTQ youth homeless shelter

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) - A new homeless shelter being created in Louisville’s Russell neighborhood will be the first of its kind when it comes to those it will help.

The new shelter will be known as the Sweet Evening Breeze Youth Homeless Shelter.

At a neighborhood cookout Saturday afternoon at Sheppard Park, residents of the Russell neighborhood celebrate what will soon be a refuge for LGBTQ youth in the area.

“A quarter of youth when they come out as LGBT are kicked out of their homes and so where are these youth going?” said U of L Assistant Professor of Social Work, Emma Sterrett-Hong. “This is going to be a place where they can come and receive shelter, receive services and feel affirmed and will be a safe place for them.”

Additional resources will include case management, mental health services and job training.

The three-story building is part of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, and will have a common area, a kitchen and several dorm-style rooms.

$500,000 is needed to start the project – money organizers hope to get through grants and private donations. The city of Louisville has been awarded a $3.4 million grant to address the homeless community – especially when it comes to youth.

Several large cities across the county have homeless shelters for LGBTQ youth, and Louisville is helping pave the way for cities like it.

“Louisville is kind on the forefront. You don’t see hardly any of this in the Midwest. There is one shelter kind of like in this Cincinnati and that is it,” social worker Ariel Brooks said. 

“This is just going to be a way for youth to come and get back on their feet,” Sterrett-Hong said.

For information on the Sweet Evening Breeze Youth Homeless Shelter, head to their Facebook page here.

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