Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lauper to Open Shelter for Gay Youth

Singer Cyndi Lauper is opening New York City's first permanent housing for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

The True Colors Residence is set to open next year in Harlem and will provide young people between 18 and 24 a place to live while helping them get back on their feet,
DNAinfo reports.

Kids are coming out in greater numbers as they see themselves accepted and represented on TV and in movies, but they’re still being kicked out of their homes or running away and living on the streets," Lauper said in a statement Tuesday.

Pop singer Cyndi Lauper, through her foundation, is building Manhattan's first permanent shelter for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The True Colors Residence will open next year in Harlem. Here she attends the fifth annual Focus for Change benefit dinner and concert in New York on Nov. 11, 2009 with friend Rodney Chester "Alex" from LOGO's Noah's Arc.

The '80s pop singer, known for her hits "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "True Colors," will donate money for the facility through her True Colors Fund, is an honorary board member and is championing and promoting it.

There are between 15,000 and 20,000 homeless youth in New York City, according to estimates from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Roughly 3,000 to 8,000 of them are LGBT, or comprising 20 to 40 percent homeless youth in the city, the Task Force said.

The six-story building will contain 30 studio apartments, a communal space, a library and computer room. It's expected to cost roughly $11 million. Residents will sign a year-long Section 8 lease and pay rent according to their income.

Lauper has long been a supporter for gay rights. Last month, her True Colors Fund launched the Give a Damn Campaign, an initiative to spur straight support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. The campaign will include a series of videos featuring Lauper and friends such as Elton John, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Mraz, Cynthia Nixon and Anna Paquin,
Tonic reported.

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