Outfront Kalamazoo is set to open a legacy house that will act as a safe transitional space for young LGBTQ+ community members.

It's unfortunate that, even in the year 2022, those who identify as LGBTQ+ may still find themselves without the necessary support to get ahead in life. Whether that be financial, mental, or emotional support...without it, those first few years of your adult life can be incredibly difficult. But, Outfront Kalamazoo is hoping to help.

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What is Outfront Kalamazoo?

Outfront Kalamazoo is a non-profit that began in 1987 as the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center. While Outfront Kalamazoo works to advance social justice, they also act as a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ members of the community offering a variety of services and programs.

One of those services will be the Legacy House once it opens.

What's the Legacy House?

Purchased in 2020 using grant funding, a property in the Vine neighborhood will now act as a transitional house for LGBTQ+ youth, ages 18-24. The house will be named the Legacy House.

While the home is still undergoing renovations, once completed it'll be able to house 6-10 people at any given time. In a recent interview, Outfront Kalamazoo Executive Director, Amy Hunter, said,

We want to be able to help (residents) out with wraparound services and help them to learn life skills and set them up for success by doing what we can to put a dent in at-risk, chronic homelessness in Kalamazoo.

Read more about the plans for the Legacy House here.

Homelessness is an ongoing, nationwide issue. But, these statistics from the NCSL point out how LGBTQ+ youth specifically are impacted by homelessness:

  • 62% of LGBTQ youth report being physically harmed while experiencing homelessness while 47% of non-LGBTQ youth reported being physically harmed while homeless.
  • 27% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who are homeless reported exchanging sex for basic needs compared to 9% of non-LGBTQ youth who reported having to exchange sex for basic needs.
  • One in 10 young adults ages 18-25, and at least one in 30 adolescents ages 13-17, experience some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the course of a year.

How Can I Help?

At this time, Outfront Kalamazoo is looking for donations of furniture for the Legacy House. Outside of that, you can purchase items from their online shop which helps the organization continue its work. Or, you can make a monetary donation here.

If you know someone who needs transitional housing, Outfront Kalamazoo will be accepting applications in mid to late March. Contact Outfront Kalamazoo's Communications Director Grace Gheen at 269-349-4234 or by email at grace@outfrontkzoo.org.

As well, if you or someone you know needs any other kind of support, please don't hesitate to reach out to Outfront Kalamazoo. Find a list of all of their programs on their website.

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