D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will be among those participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 7, for the opening of a new transitional house for homeless LGBT youth to be operated by SMYAL, the local LGBT youth services organization.
The newly built, eight-bedroom transitional house is located at 746 19th St., N.E. The ribbon-cutting event and a preview of the new house were scheduled to take place from 10 a.m.-noon.
“We’ve been hard at work setting up our new transitional housing program for homeless LGBTQ youth and we can’t wait to get it up and running,” SMYAL said in a statement released last week.
The statement says the IKEA store in College Park, “graciously offered to furnish the entire house, with over $15,000 in donations.”
SMYAL Executive Director Sultan Shakir first announced SMYAL’s plans for opening the house at SMYAL’s annual fundraising brunch in November. He said the house would be rented and operated by SMYAL under a one-year $300,000 grant from the D.C. Department of Human Services, which he expected to be renewed in subsequent years.
Shakir said the house and SMYAL’s transitional housing program would offer various services for LGBT people between the ages of 18 and 24 to help them get on their feet and become self-sufficient following a stay at the facility for up to 18 months.