The Northpine Foundation’s investment in INNclusion turning rented house into a safe space for vulnerable youth
Pride celebrations continue as Blue Door recognizes The Northpine Foundation’s generous investment to purchase property for the only 2SLGBTQ+ youth housing in York Region.
The investment is seen as critical to INNclusion, the first and only supportive housing program in the region, launched a year ago to provide safe space for 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness.
“In most communities in Canada, 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness aren’t just underserved — the youth are not being served at all,” explains The Northpine Foundation’s CEO, Aatif Baskanderi.
“The Northpine Foundation is proud to support Blue Door’s INNclusion program to celebrate inclusivity and allyship, and to ensure that 2SLGBTQ+ youth everywhere have access to programs like INNclusion to offer hope and a safe place to call home.”
The Northpine Foundation’s investment brings long-term stability to INNclusion, turning what was a rented house into a permanent safe home for hundreds of vulnerable youth for generations to come. With the INNclusion house purchased, continued community support of INNclusion will be invested into expanding the INNclusion program and wraparound supports.
“Having a safe space dedicated to supporting very vulnerable youth is a huge milestone for our community,” says Michael Braithwaite, CEO of Blue Door. “We cannot thank The Northpine Foundation enough for creating a lasting beacon of hope and for saving the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness.”
Safe housing and designated supports are life-saving and transformational for 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness, according to Blue Door, which has been serving the community for 40 years and is now the largest emergency housing provider in York Region.
Overrepresented among youth experiencing homelessness, 2SLGTBQ+ youth are often forced to leave home because of identity-based abuse and discrimination.
Once on their own, without housing and often without a safety network, 2SLGTBQ+ youth face further discrimination and unsafety at emergency housing programs designated for men or women, leading many 2SLGBTQ+ youth to choose the safety of sleeping on the street.
Unable to cope, one in three 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness attempted suicide last year, according to the recent research paper titled “Understanding LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness in York Region” by Nelson Pang and Dr. Alex Abramovich from CAMH.
To learn more about INNclusion, access support or to get involved in ending homelessness in your community, visit www.BlueDoor.ca.