"I arrived in San Francisco full of hope and ready to live my authentic self, but unfortunately I soon found myself homeless and at the mercy of strangers that took advantage of my situation" - Anastazia, Youth Program participant.
After a 72-hour bus trip, 22-year-old Anastazia arrived in San Francisco with little money and nowhere to live. They left a life of rejection and harassment in Florida to seek a new beginning within a community that was supporting and accepting of young queer, trans and gender non-conforming people.
"I didn't give up. I found the Youth Program at the SF LGBT Center which provided me with a safe space, weekly meals, and support in finding the help I needed in order to find housing and begin a new life. I am now more stable and have time to explore a career in design," said Anastazia.
There are 1,500 LGBTQ youth like Anastazia living in San Francisco. In my position as Youth Program Manager at the Center, I work with over 400 of them every year.
"I was so happy that even through the building remodel, the Center continued to provide me and other LGBTQ youth with a safe space to hang out, access to resources, and to find other essential support like STD testing, and information about training and employment opportunities," Anastazia continued.
Your donation will allow us to expand mental health services and continue providing critical services for youth who often experience rejection, violence, racism, sexism, and transphobia-- oftentimes by their own families--- which create barriers to accessing housing, employment, and healthcare.
Just as Anastazia did, every day a new young person comes through our doors seeking support. I know that you will help us take care of them.