REC And Ozone Leaders Named To National Project To Reduce Homelessness

By |2014-04-20T09:00:00-04:00April 20th, 2014|Michigan, News|

Ozone House Executive Director Katie Doyle and Ruth Ellis Center Executive Director Jerry Peterson

Two local LGBT youth advocates, Ozone House Executive Director Katie Doyle and Ruth Ellis Center Executive Director Jerry Peterson, have been tapped to serve on an expert advisory committee for a national project aimed at reducing the 40 percent of homeless youth that identify as LGBT.
The project is the result of the collaboration among the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Over the next three years, the participants will gather as much information as possible about LGBTQ runaway and homeless youth, determine the best practices for serving them, and disseminate that information to all the transitional living programs in the United States in an effort to significantly reduce the LGBTQ youth homeless population.
Peterson, who joined Ruth Ellis Center as Executive Director last year, said he recognizes the significance of this project and the impact it will have on homeless and runaway LGBTQ youth nationally.
“We know that LGBTQ youth are disproportionately affected by homelessness and yet far too little has been done at the national level to establish how to better serve them,” Peterson said. “While providing safe and affirming housing resources must be an absolute priority, we must also look at prevention and reunification models to ensure we are addressing the root cause of the problem. Partnering with The White House in 2012, Ruth Ellis Center has been recognized as a national leader in addressing LGBTQ youth homelessness and I could not be more thrilled to serve on the expert advisory committee. It is also a testament to the work that is happening here in Michigan, when two organizations like Ruth Ellis Center and Ozone House have been asked to sit on a national advisory committee of thirteen.”
“In a time when we are seeing unprecedented gains for LGBTQ people in our country, homeless LGBTQ youth still are not safe and supported sufficiently,” Doyle said. “I am humbled to be involved with such important partners in the ambitious quest to reduce LGBQ youth homelessness. Ozone House was invited to serve on this national committee not only because of our 45 year commitment to LGBTQ homeless youth, but also because we have gained national recognition for ensuring that our programming is safe for all youth who seek support here. We make sure that the 60-75 percent of youth who come to Ozone House who do not identify as LGBTQ are safe allies and advocates for their peers who identify as LGBTQ.”
Doyle was selected to be part of the technical expert group for the Family and Youth Services Bureau-funded project entitled 3/40 Blueprint to Reduce LGBTQ Youth Homelessness because of her expertise in the area of homeless and runaway youth, and Peterson for his expertise in the areas of runaway and homeless LGBTQ youth and family acceptance.
Since 1969, Ozone House has actively developed high quality housing and unique services that provide support, intervention, training, and assistance to runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth and their families. The Ruth Ellis Center, incorporated in 1999, is a youth social services agency that serves the needs of runaway, homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth.
For more information about Ozone House visit: http://www.OzoneHouse.org.
For more information about Ruth Ellis Center visit: http://www.RuthEllisCenter.org

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.