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LGBTQ community honors Arise Project work to reduce youth homelessness

Arise Project was presented with Quorum’s Nonprofit of the Year at the annual Legacy of Leadership virtual event on Wednesday, Aug. 5 in recognition of Greater Twin Cities United Way’s efforts to impact the lives of LGBTQ people and communities.

Quorum, the Twin Cities LGBTQ chamber of commerce, recognized Arise Project’s work to advance and fund organizations dedicated to addressing homelessness among LGBTQ youth. “This award stands a testament to the vital work empowered by Arise Project’s grantmaking,” Jeff Moores, Greater Twin Cities United Way’s Senior Manager of Direct Response Fundraising, said.

“In its tenth year, it’s an incredible honor to accept this award on behalf of the community members that make up the Arise Project,” Claire Psarouthakis, Greater Twin Cities United Way Giving Communities Manager, said. “In the midst of a housing crisis exacerbated by a public health catastrophe and systemic inequities, we know that our Queer, Transgender, Black, Indigenous and People of Color siblings and neighbors are disproportionately affected. It’s our honor to support the organizations reaching those neighbors on the margins.”

In the past decade, Arise has raised over $1 million in vital grants that have empowered organizations like YouthLink to create LGBTQ-specific programs and support services, which has resulted in connecting roughly 1,700 of them with resources and housing opportunities. From support groups, to text-to-help lines, to host-home programs, Arise Project has changed how organizations in the Twin Cities respond to LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness.

Organizations like The Bridge for Youth transform how they provide services to queer and transgender young people and have created a more inclusive community for all young people facing housing challenges. Avenues for Youth administers ConneQT Host Home Program, which places LGBTQ youth with stable housing from one week to three months and invites prospective hosts to volunteer by opening their home to queer youth.

For more information on Arise Project nonprofit partners, visit: https://www.gtcuw.org/get-involved/join/arise-project/investments/

“I want to encourage my fellow nonprofit funding colleagues to advocate for dedicated LGBTQ program funding,” Psarouthakis said. “We can create a loving safety net deep and wide to catch these youth and honor their voices and leadership. Unite with us to ensure that no LGBTQ young person faces homelessness, and that if they do it is rare, brief and non-reoccurring.”

Other Quorum award-winners included Davina Baldwin (Business of the Year), Lois Carlson, Scott Mayer and Lee Roehl (Lifetime Achievement Award), Tori Hoeschler (Ally of the Year), Barry Leavitt (Business Leaders of the Year), Sebastian Nemec (Rising Star Young Professional), Patti Powell/Thrivent (Inclusion Leader of the Year) and Xcel Energy (Corporate Equality Partner of the Year).

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