A first of its kind housing project will break ground today in New Jersey.
The new building is The LGBT RAIN Foundation’s first affordable and inclusive LGBTQ housing development of this scale. The building will house eleven homeless individuals who identify as LGBTQ and may have a disability, and the project is being consulted by Monarch Housing, a non-profit pioneer in housing development for marginalized communities, this is their first project related to LGBTQ young adults.
The building will address the needs of underserved, chronically homeless LGBTQ young adults and those with disabilities. The units will provide safe, affordable, and supportive housing, allowing residents to become independent and self-sufficient.
“This much needed supportive housing project has been a personal vision of mine for a long time, and it’s incredible to see how it has become a community mission. The leaders and warriors of our communities have come together to help make RAIN what it is today; eleven one bedroom units is a huge step for RAIN, and a huge step towards our goal of making sure chronically homeless LGBTQ young adults know and feel that they belong”, says founder and Executive Director of LGBT RAIN Elaine Helms.
Each resident will additionally receive supportive services from the LGBT RAIN Foundation and its partners to address their health, financial and psychosocial needs. These services include case management, social services, and programming designed to best support sustainable and healthy futures for LGBTQ young adults. Upon completion of this project the apartment building will be addressing a tremendous need within the current Continuum of Care, which is the need for permanent affordable housing. The project is the first of its kind in the New Jersey area.
“Homelessness in the LGBTQ community is often too prevalent but everyone in our society, regardless of sexual orientation, deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). “I applaud the LGBT RAIN Foundation for building a safe place for LGBTQ individuals to live and receive quality health and financial services. It’s through federal, state, local and private partnerships that important projects, like this one, which can transform lives, are possible.”
The LGBT Reaching Adolescents in Need (RAIN) Foundation provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supporting housing services to LGBTQ young adults ages 18-26. The RAIN Foundation recognizes the way LGBTQ young adults experiencing crisis are underserved, and that housing is one way to help these adolescents avoid homelessness and lead healthy lives.
New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy says, “I am pleased to congratulate the LGBT RAIN Foundation and the founder and executive director, Elaine Helms, on opening another supportive housing location in Newark. For years, the RAIN Foundation has been committed to strengthening our community by providing support and shelter to adolescents who identify as LGBTQIA+. This new building on the corner of Roseville Avenue and Sussex Avenue will positively impact the lives of several currently homeless individuals by providing them with a safe, decent, affordable, and supportive home. In addition, these residents will receive supportive services from the RAIN Foundation and its partners to address health, financial, and psychosocial needs. As Governor, I commend the RAIN Foundation for its commitment to fighting the homelessness crisis that plagues our nation and for investing in our youth to enable them to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.”