The ‘Pink Roof’ Shelter for LGBTQ High-Risk Youth
Otot (‘good signs’) was founded 1981, and its mission is to provide community-based short- to mid-term residential solutions and interventions with which to address many of the debilitating problems facing its target-population of youth at-risk from diverse religious, sexual, and ethnic backgrounds. The overarching goal is that as a result of a stable environment, counseling, as well as working with their families, and access to education, these youngsters can hopefully return home, and eventually integrate as functional members of Israeli society. Otot annually serves some 2,300 teens between the ages of 14-18, and young adults between the ages of 18- 26 that lack a family support system and cannot oftentimes live on their own. The youth reflect all sectors of Israeli society. Otot’s 34 facilities, which are located throughout Israel, receive funding and professional oversight by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. Otot was awarded the esteemed Recanti prize in 2018 for initiating and developing an innovative program serving young women lacking familial supports.
Otot identified a cadre of homeless young adults from the LGBTQ community who are struggling with:
- Detachment from their families and communities after ‘coming out’.
- An inability to find their place within existing frameworks.
- A social environment of ignorance, discrimination, and violence.
- Harmful intimate relations, exploitation and prostitution.
- Neglected health and mental health conditions.
- Disconnected from sources of assistance and an inability to access benefits and entitlements.
Located in the HaTikva neighborhood in South Tel Aviv, the Pink Roof shelter was established in 2018 and serves as an emergency and temporary housing for young men and women ages 18-26 from the LGBTQ community. They can stay anywhere from one night up to several weeks. The shelter is staffed 24/7 and can accommodate 200 residents who come to its door from anywhere in Israel. The shelter also assists some 50 individuals who benefit from the program’s interventions but do not need residential services. The shelter also offers:
- Immediate emergency assistance
- Access to education, health and mental health, legal and employment benefits and entitlements.
- Family mediation
- Referrals to ancillary services
- Guidance with locating the next level of care needed
The aim is enable some respite for these young adults who are struggling with harsh living conditions and basic survival. The shelter gives them pause to shape their next steps towards self-sufficiency.
The annual cost of operating this vital service is $86,050, with $44,400 raised from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. Otot is seeking the amount of $41,650 to complete the general support of this program. Otot is respectfully requesting a grant of $25,000 from the XY Foundation for the general support of the Pink Roof Shelter Program.
It is clear that the Pink Roof Shelter is a vital element in promoting and achieving a healthier aftermath. While Otot has achieved initial positive results one year after the program was launched, we hope that with philanthropic funding we can continue to make even greater strides by offering this valuable service. Thank you for your interest and consideration.