First LGBT focused youth homeless residential program in Louisiana
Diversity House, the first transitional living facility with a focus on LGBT homeless youth in Louisiana, opened in February of 2016. The residential program provides individuals between the ages of 16 and 21 with 24/7 case management, which includes housing, job placement, education and counseling.
Diversity House is the latest program developed by Youth Oasis, a Baton Rouge nonprofit specializing in providing support services to at-risk youth. Youth Oasis also runs a Children’s Shelter that operates as an emergency shelter for at-risk youth between the ages of 10 and 17.
LGBT homeless youth represent up to 40 percent of all young people experiencing homelessness, even though only 7 percent of the entire American youth population identifies as LGBT. These disproportionate statistics combined with the lack of services for LGBT youth throughout Louisiana served as the inspiration for Diversity House.
“We discovered this need and realized it fell in the scope of our mission of providing support services to at-risk youth,” said Rafael de Castro, Youth Oasis Executive Director. “It was really an easy decision to open Diversity House. We are very excited not only for this opening but also for the coming years as we work to expand the services we provide to all at-risk youth throughout Louisiana.”
Unlike the Children’s Shelter, where the children are supervised 24/7 in dorm style rooms, Diversity House occupants live in apartments and have more autonomy in their movements. With a new building and a growing brand presence, Diversity House is truly groundbreaking in nature.
About Diversity House:
Diversity House is the first transitional living facility in Louisiana with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) homeless youth. Diversity House is a service provider and an advocate for LGBT homeless youth with a mission to provide transitional housing, intensive case management and supportive services in order to enhance the health, wellness and cultural competency of LGBT youth through education and youth development.