Ruth Ellis Center, the Midwest’s only organization solely dedicated to serving homeless, at-risk and runaway lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender or questioning youth, is receiving a $110,000 grant from the McGregor Fund to enhance its street outreach program. The 18-month grant will fund the Center’s efforts to evaluate the program and remodel it to be more effective and sustainable for the future.
“One of the Ruth Ellis Center’s greatest challenges is meeting youth where they are in the community, which for the young people we serve, can include on the streets or in parks and abandoned buildings where they are living,” said Laura Hughes, Ruth Ellis Center executive director. “The McGregor Fund’s grant will support our ability to create an outreach infrastructure that allows us to better serve the youth and will also make us more competitive for state and national street outreach funding streams.”
The grant will support the center’s efforts to maximize its outreach to youth through one-on-one outreach and the social networking platforms that youth of utilize for survival. The center has historically benefitted from the natural referrals networks that LGBTQ homeless and runaway youth utilize to take care of each other. Ensuring that the street outreach uses the social platforms will be critical to reaching LGBTQ homeless youth who are primarily categorized as couch surfers and the least likely to utilize shelters or runaway assistant lines.
The McGregor Fund is a private foundation established in 1925 to “relieve the misfortunes and promote the well-being of mankind.” The foundation awards grants to organizations in human services, education, health care, arts and culture and public benefit.