True Colors Residence

True Colors ResidenceTrue Colors Residence (TCR), a project of West End and partners Grammy-award winning artist Cyndi Lauper and her manager, longtime WIR volunteer Lisa Barbaris, builds upon West End’s history of pioneering new models to serve the most underserved and vulnerable New Yorkers.  TCR is New York’s first and only permanent, supportive housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth with a history of homelessness. This profoundly underserved population is estimated to make up nearly 40% of homeless youth in New York City.

Opened in September 2011, TCR provides young, formerly homeless LGBT individuals aged 18-24 upon admission, a safe, stable and supportive environment in which they can rebuild their lives. Residents are responsible for paying affordable rent based on their income. TCR houses 30 studio apartments, each equipped with a kitchen and bathroom. Residents also have access to shared indoor and outdoor community space, a computer lounge, a small library, and laundry facilities.

Residents receive case management and ongoing assistance with every aspect of independent living as well as obtaining employment best suited to their individual interests and skills. Comprehensive support services, available on a purely voluntary basis and tailored to each individual, include: benefits and entitlement advocacy, counseling, HIV/AIDS counseling and education, medication management, job readiness and placement assistance and help with such practical details as cooking, money management, health issues and other independent living skills.  A range of additional services, including GED classes and healthcare, are available through linkages with other nonprofit agencies.

Residents are referred to TCR by the New York City Department of Homeless Services, Department of Youth and Community Development, and local community-based organizations.

View a video, produced by TCR funder and opening day sponsor Citi Community Capital:

A Message from Cyndi Lauper

Dear Friend,
In New York City, a very disproportionate number (up to 40%), of homeless youth identify as LGBT. Even more disturbing are reports that these young people often face discrimination and at times physical assault in some of the very places they have to for help. This is shocking and inexcusable!

That’s why my manager, Lisa Barbaris and I are collaborating with Colleen Jackson and West End Residences to create the True Colors Residence, (TCR), a permanent supportive housing program for homeless LGBT youth 18-24 years old.

We’ll be building from the ground up so our residents will have a brand new, modern building with studio apartments for each resident and both indoor and outdoor community space to socialize or attend education and recreation programs. Each resident will be responsible for paying affordable rent based on their income and will receive ongoing assistance in obtaining employment best suited to their individual interests and skills. Although TCR will not require participation in it’s programs, a variety of social and educational support services will be available to all who request them. Our primary goal is to provide a physically and emotionally safe and supportive environment that will empower our young residents to be the self-loving, happy, and successful individuals they were meant to be.

As longtime supporters, Lisa and I know that West End has been a trailblazing forward-thinking organization that is willing to do whatever is necessary to serve those in need. Their services have, in our experience, always met the highest standards.

I am proud to work with Colleen and West End on such an exciting and important project as the True Colors Residence and I ask for your support as we move forward.

Sincerely,

Cyndi Lauper

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