True Colors Residence, a project of West End Residences, was developed in partnership with Grammy-award winning artist Cyndi Lauper and her manager, longtime West End Intergenerational Residence volunteer Lisa Barbaris, builds upon West End’s history of pioneering new models to serve the most underserved and vulnerable New Yorkers. True Colors Residence 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, True Colors Residence provides young, formerly homeless LGBTQ 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. True Colors Residence 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 by the New York City Department of Homeless Services, Department of Youth and Community Development, and local community-based organizations.
Video produced by True Colors Residence funder and opening day sponsor Citi Community Capital
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