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Vital Voices Grand Opening

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Today July 14, 2022 Washington D.C. has officially opened their first LGBTQ+ Adult Shelter. This shelter will be a 40-bed emergency shelter intended for homeless queer people 25 years and older located at 400 50th St. SE.

The city is dedicating this space to the LGBTQ+ community so people can have a more comfortable place of respite to queer people, “who are more likely to have a history of trauma or are more vulnerable to violence in existing homeless shelters.” Other cities, including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, offer housing catering to an aging LGBTQ+ community.

“People experience homelessness differently, for different reasons and in different ways. People avoid homeless shelters also for a multitude of reasons,” Bowser said at the ceremony outside the facility. “We know and we have seen it in the creation of our small dignified family shelters, that when we get shelter right, people will come into shelter.”

During the press conference at the shelter opening, a reporter identifying themselves as a “community activist, writer, and gay rights defender.” asked Mayor Bowser about the rumors that she is a closeted lesbian. Her response was a shock to some but obvious to others. Watch the video below…

The shelter will provide trauma-informed case management services including mental health, substance abuse treatment, medical, and victims’ services to a community that often has to face additional obstacles when navigating through homeless services systems. For more information on DC LGBTQ+ programs click here

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