After talking with someone about this, I’ve been thinking about LGBT youth shelters and which of them might be open to aces. Ideally, I think there should be a public list of such programs, alongside general resources on surviving homelessness and being disowned. But I know I have too inapplicable credentials to embark on such a project all by myself. That’s why I’m posting this.
Here’s what I’m thinking would be needed:
- A non-blog site or page — preferably a wiki? Someone probably knows how to set one up and run one better than I do. A blog post might do, but I don’t imagine that being as practical for mass input. Someone good at SEO and webdesign should probably get involved in this part, too.
- Inquiries to shelters. I’ve contacted a few (or tried to) earlier this month, and some of them have gotten back to me. Of those, here are the ones that could go on the list:
Ruth’s House – Intensive Treatment Unit (Highland Park, MI): “a structured living program with level systems for 12 to 17 year old LGBTQ youth.” Licensed foster care facility. Requires a referral & legal status as ward of the state. I spoke to a representative on the phone who told me that ace youth “absolutely” count as LGBTQ youth and would be eligible for the program.
Stonewall Housing (London, England): “We provide housing support for LGBT people in their own homes, supported housing for young LGBT people, as well as free, confidential housing advice for LGBT people of all ages.” When they emailed me back, the message specified that their programs are “LGBT+” (note the plus) and “inclusive,” so any non-heterosexual is welcome.
The Ali Forney Center (NYC): “AFC has four emergency housing sites with a total of 47 beds. […] Depending on the site, the program lasts from 1-6 months. […] For youth 16-20, the wait time is approximately 2 weeks. For young people 21-24, the wait can be as long as 6 months.” The email from their director said that “an asexual person can identify or present as queer regardless of orientation and they would be a candidate for our program.” For aces like me, an answer like that could leave lots of uncertainty remaining, but if you’re in a position to need this kind of assistance, do what you need to do.
[Note: this list is only going off what I was told when I asked, and doesn’t guarantee what would happen in practice. But that’s the best I can do for now.]
- Maybe, eventually, reports of experiences with the shelters listed, if someone can volunteer those later on down the line.
- Potentially also, links to practical tips and advice for aces who’d be looking at this kind of list. Legal walkthroughs of minor emancipation, for example.
And lastly… to make this list go anywhere useful, I’d need the assistance of people with lots of varying expertise, so if you can’t personally contribute, I’d appreciate it if you’d try and circulate this to reach more people. I’ve done about all I can do by myself, and the results of this idea would turn out far better as a collaboration than as a measly list of three programs.
Can you help?
ETA, I’ve now also gotten a yes from:
The Lost-n-Found Youth House (Atlanta, GA): “Lost-n-Found Youth is an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to take homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths to age 25 off the street and transition them into more permanent housing.” An email from the director told me that aces are eligible.
Zebra Coalition – Short-term Housing (Orlando, FL): “Zebra Coalition® provides LGBT+ young adults ages 18-24 who are homeless and have been rejected by their families with short-term living; up to 45 days.” Through email, I was told “The “+” includes all youth ages 13-24. Anyone is welcome at Zebra Coalition, including those on the asexual spectrum.”