Director, Transition Housing
Community support means everything to this Toronto-based charity as it continues to uplift 2SLGBTQIA+ youth with access to necessary services.
Young people who identify as two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and all gender non-conforming (2SLGBTQIA+) may struggle with self-acceptance. They can face identity-based rejection and isolation amongst their peers. In these situations, some may not seek help or even realize there’s resources available.
Because of this, one in three youth experiencing homelessness identify as 2SLGBTQIA+. They’re disproportionally impacted by social isolation and unstable housing. This is amplified during the holiday season when adolescents may especially feel like they don’t belong. Nonacceptance leaves youth struggling, alone, and unsure of what’s next.
One of the few organizations solely dedicated to helping marginalized queer youth, Friends of Ruby offers a comprehensive support system and inclusive community. They empower and validate those in need through drop-in, mental health, case management, and practical support services.
Friends of Ruby offers the first-of-its-kind transitional housing for those who need a place to stay.
“We provide more comprehensive services to support youth that reside there,” says Alban Joxhe, Director of Transition Housing. “They build a community that uplifts each other.”
Other programming includes counselling, meals, groups, employment and healthcare assistance, and tons of community activities. Participants gain self-esteem and resilience – many return as ambassadors to pass it forwards.
Funding is crucial, as demand is incredibly high. Along with donations, they require increased government aid. “Society needs to acknowledge and uphold these youths,” Alban adds. “A lot of us have been in their shoes. We can make a difference, we’re here for them.”
Every 2SLGBTQIA+ youth is unique, precious & worthy of care. Help Address 2SLGBTQIA+ homelessness by donating at friendsofruby.ca