On Friday, The Ally Coalition, an LGBTQ advocacy group founded by the members of Fun and designer Rachel Antonoff announced the launch of an initiative to raise funds in support of the Ruth Ellis Center, the social services agency serving the needs of Detroit’s homeless, runaway and at-risk LGBTQ youth.
In the City of Detroit, an estimated 800 LGBTQ youth live on the streets and last year alone the Ruth Ellis Center provided hot meals, clothing, medical services and life skills training to more than half. The funds raised by TAC will benefit REC’s capital campaign to build a new Community Health Center, which will increase its capacity to help by 25 percent.
Rachel Antonoff, Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess said in a joint statement:
“The homelessness problem among LGBTQ youth in this country is nothing short of an epidemic, and the city of Detroit is in particular need of support right now. This campaign will be The Ally Coalition’s primary focus until the project is fully funded.”
While LGBTQ comprise 5-7 percent of the general population, they represent up to 40 percent of the overall homeless youth population. These vulnerable youth are also far more likely than straight peers to be victims of depression, violence, bullying and suicide.
Dost, a Detroit native, added:
“The Ruth Ellis Center is an incredible organization, and what they’re doing in my hometown fills me with hope. It’s a place where people can get a good meal, can be among friends, and are welcome and safe no matter what.”