The Brave Heart Foundation (TBHF) will provide a safe, enriching, and affirmative place for homeless LGBTQ young adults ages 18-26, that will provide the emotional support and overall care needed for a healthy transition into adulthood. TBHF empowers homeless LGBTQ youth adults to reach their full potential (regardless past barriers) through a variety of long-term, comprehensive support programs designed to provide resources and access to education, medical care, emotional support, health and well- being, and career support.
There are 1.6 million homeless youth in the US and 40% identify as LGBTQ. Increased legal and social acceptance has encouraged young people to come out earlier; however, because of family rejection and/or abuse, they end up homeless. Therefore, family conflict, aging out of foster care and poverty are the main reasons that the rate of homelessness I so high for the LGBTQ population in general.
As a result, a cascade of events can and do often occur for this group in order to survive and cope. This cascade can result in drug and alcohol addiction, prostitution and survival sex, and petty crime which all lead to further trauma. In addition a lack of access to health care and mental health services, lack of available stable, safe, secure, and affirming housing can lead to poor life outcomes. The homeless LGBTQ population is 9 x more likely to become infected with HIV. Due to a lack of federal, state and local funds there aren’t enough programs and organizations that can support this population. The Brave Heart Foundation aims to fill this void through it's programs, services, and collaboration with other human and social service agencies.
PROVIDE SAFE STABLE HOUSING
Housing is key. Since many homeless people have substance abuse issues with possible criminal histories related to drug use, survival sex, and/or petty crime, as well as poor or no credit history, they are ineligible for traditional supportive housing programs, including HUD-funded programs or other subsidized housing opportunities. Most of the time, traditional programs require that clients be clean and sober for 90 days prior to move-in which can be close to impossible to achieve when living on the streets. Substance abuse is a coping mechanism to help numb the pain of homelessness and performing the activities they find themselves needing to do in order to survive. A person can't plan long-term goals when that person doesn't even know where they will be sleeping from one night to the next.
OVERCOME BARRIERS TO ACHIEVEMENT
Once safe, stable housing is established, our formerly homeless clients must address barriers to any long-term goals they wish to develop. If they have trauma backgrounds that they find obstruct their path to success, by addressing the traumas they have experienced as well as the medical needs that have been overlooked, these clients will learn to cope with these challenges in a productive way in order to pave the way to achieving their goals.
IMPORTANCE OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION COMPONENT
Finally, our clients will need to be equipped with tools to help them break the cycles of homelessness and poverty. While a variety of our programs will teach these clients the life skills they need to live independently, education in some form, is also a must.
Educated individuals tend to earn higher income, contribute back to the economy at a higher rate. Education has been shown to increase economic growth and stability. In addition, education makes people aware of what they are capable of and provides the skills and know how to achieve their goals. Educated people live fuller, more meaningful lives and consequently have greater inspiration to keep on living and to fulfill their life goals and dreams. Furthermore, "In order for a society to grow, it must share common goals and values while simultaneously promoting variance and uniqueness." (Anne Bert Dijkstra, professor, Arizona State University). The more educated a country's citizens are, the more the country will advance and progress.
By making education a required component of the program, The Brave Heart Foundation believes that at the end of their journey with us, our clients will not only have the tools necessary to navigate their lives but also, have access to careers with better benefits for themselves and their families, a broad range of career opportunities, and
job security and satisfaction.
Our goal through our comprehensive support programs and services is to help our clients build a strong foundation in order to move on to happier, healthier, more successful lives where they, in turn, can choose to hopefully help others, as they have been helped.
Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you.
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