A nonprofit organization that quickly grew from an outreach program in someone’s house into a full-fledged movement with many an impassioned employee, Covenant House California recently acquired a well-deserved and generous grant from Bank of America. The bestowment of $200,000 will help Covenant House not only continue the work they’ve been doing, but also expand upon it in order to better accommodate the 40 percent of LGBTQ and 10% of transgender homeless youth that it assists in the greater Los Angeles area.
A staggering statistic from a 2017 survey by the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall finds that LGBTQ+ youths are 120 percent more likely to become homeless than their heterosexual counterparts. In light of this Covenant House couldn’t come at a more crucial time. With its offering of highly useful and significant resources, including shelter, food, education and, perhaps most importantly, therapy, the organization has come to mean literal life or death for many homeless LGBTQ+ young adults. As a result, the Neighborhood Builders Award from Bank of America is a natural fit, with the corporation recognizing the level of devotion Covenant House has illustrated by, as Bank of America Market President for Los Angeles Raul Anaya stated, helping these adolescents face “the most challenging issues fundamental to economic mobility, such as housing assistance, workforce development, and education. We are proud to support Covenant House and Brotherhood Crusade as they reconnect youth to critical resources that will put them on the path to financial stability.”
And with such financial stability comes the added confidence in not being ashamed or afraid of anyone else’s opinion about one’s orientation or gender identification. To quite simply “be” without fear of judgment. As Covenant House continues its valuable service to Los Angeles, one can only hope that fewer LGBTQ teens will need to turn to them, as a message of self-love and acceptance is spread.