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Civic Impact

Sprott House just first step in helping LGBTQ2S youth

For one advocate, last week’s announcement that Toronto will be home to Canada’s first transitional housing facility for LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two spirit) youth is big step in supporting homeless and underhoused queer youth. But it’s just the first one.

The YMCA Sprott House, located in the Annex, is a 25-bed transitional housing facility launching next month where LGBTQ2S youth can stay for a year less a day, while accessig programs that can help them gain work and life skills.

“Having known for over two decades that this population of young people are largely unsafe in Toronto’s shelter system and having worked in this area for the past 10 years, I am very pleased that the City of Toronto has finally allocated funds to this essential service for LGBTQ2S youth,” says Alex Abramovich, a researcher, currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, who has been an advocate for and collaborator on the project. “So many people have waited a very long time for this announcement. I am also relieved that there will finally be a dedicated housing program for LGBTQ2S youth.”

But Abramovich says the city still needs to move to support LGBTQ2S youth who are in emergency crisis situations. “Ensuring that LGBTQ2S youth have a specialized emergency shelter to access in Toronto is certainly a critical next step, especially for LGTBQ2S youth who have been kicked out or forced to leave home and are in crisis,” he says. “Although the city is moving away from an emergency response to homelessness, we know from research and from the young people themselves that an emergency shelter for LGBTQ2S youth is a necessary service in meeting this population’s needs.”

Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Alex Abramovich
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