True Colors Residence, Cyndi Lauper’s homeless shelter for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth opens in New York on Friday, September 9.
The idea behind the Residence which will be located in Harlem was conceived by Lauper, her publicist Lisa Barbaris, and Colleen Jackson, the executive director of the West End Intergenerational Residence, an Upper West Side facility which helps young families and older low-income adults.
“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,” said Lauper, who funded the facility through her True Colors Fund. “We need to make sure we’re taking care of them.”
True Colors will be the first permanent, supportive housing facility for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in New York State.
“Our residents will have a brand new, modern building with studio apartments for each resident and both indoor and outdoor community space to socialize or attend education and recreation programs,” says Lauper. “Each resident will be responsible for paying affordable rent based on their income and will receive ongoing assistance in obtaining employment best suited to their individual interests and skills. Although TCR will not require participation in it’s programs, a variety of social and educational support services will be available to all who request them. Our primary goal is to provide a physically and emotionally safe and supportive environment that will empower our young residents to be the self-loving, happy, and successful individuals they were meant to be.”