'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give'.
Sir Winston Churchill
If this quote resonates with you, you already understand what kind of people are behind this amazing campaign. We are the Essex County LGBT RAIN Foundation a 501c3 organization in East Orange NJ that provides emergency shelter services to address the emergent need of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual ,Transgender, Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals experiencing crisis leading to homelessness. Our programs promote self-sufficiency and independence to enhance our residents’ ability to function within their communities. Our programs aim to help adolescents lead healthy, productive and meaningful lives.
Our program is not only for the homeless, but also for the community. We want to teach the individuals who come stay with us how to interact in society, face diversity and persevere to be successful individuals that contribute to society in a way that makes them feel whole.
Homelessness amongst the LGBTQ is a larger problem then most would think. The most frequently cited factor contributing to LGBTQ homelessness was family rejection based on sexual orientation and gender identity, with the second most common reason of being forced out by their parents after coming out [Williams Institute, 2012]. LGBT students often face harassment, both physical and verbal, in school, which leads to high dropout rates: [GLSEN, 2007]
· Gay and transgender students are two-times less likely to finish high school or pursue a college education compared to the national average.
· 86 percent: The portion of gay and lesbian students who reported being verbally harassed at school due to their sexual orientation in 2007.
· 44 percent: The portion of gay and lesbian students who reported being physically harassed at school because of their sexual orientation in 2007.
· 22 percent: The portion of gay and transgender students who reported having been physically attacked in school in 2007, with 60% saying they did not report the incidents because they believed no one would care.
· 31 percent: The portion of gay and transgender students who report incidents of harassment and violence at school to staff, only to receive no response.
Do you ever think about how you can help people who go without shelter, food and clothes? Do you want to see this world find sustainable solutions for LGBT that just want a normal life? Do you believe it all begins with the necessities? If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, you may want to keep reading…
Our popular culture reinforces the idea that homeless and poverty stricken individuals are destined to bleak futures. We are out to change that fallacious idea one home and bed and meal at a time! Help us establish this organization and fund this amazing assistance program. Only $10 can feed a resident for almost a week and this can change their idea about what they can accomplish for the rest of their life. Empower people to break the unfortunate stereotype with a donation to this project today!
We feel there are endless benefits and things we can provide to the LBGT homeless community through what we are doing but we would like to shed light on a few:
· Assist in helping LGBT young adults devise their plans to have healthy relationships, employment, stable housing, and positive lives.
· Partner with promising organizations to create a network of valuable resources our adolescents can depend on to assist them in achieving their goals.
· Provide behavioral health services, and programming to help empower our young adults to live satisfying lives.
· Listen, access and encourage our young adults to strive for permanent independence by planning, saving and making good choices leading to self-sufficiency.
· Build a sense of family and connection that many young adults have lost or never had effective.
We feel all our solutions are not only beneficial to the recipients but sustainable choices for the future. Generations to come will be able to enjoy what we are doing.
When reviewing these benefits, and much more, it inspired and assured us that this is a initiative that needs to be created. We feel if executed properly we can reach a large group of people in need of an easier way to live and sleep. Our services will make us incredibly qualified to succeed when we advance with your donations. This paired with attention to detail and quality service and compassion for our residents will make us a key player if not leader in the area for providing emergency shelter. Our mission is to take care of every funder, supporter and homeless LBGT individual with the upmost respect and care. We feel this will be the key to our success.
We are a group of people within the community who is obsessed with helping others and showing those in need that someone cares about them. More times than not when people are going through hard times, all they need is for someone to care about them! We have engineered a unique idea and plan to help the homeless in our community. Not only that, but we believe our plan has everything it takes to be sustainable and help people in the long run!
About Our Founder
A born leader and visionary and a survivor of 9/11, Elaine developed Helms Medical Services after experiencing a threat to the level of quality in services through her own experiences. Shortly thereafter, Elaine set out to follow another passion, which addressed a major issue in the LGBTQ community – housing. In 2013, she founded HBP Reaching Adolescents In Need Foundation dba Essex County LGBT RAIN Foundation, one of only two shelters in the State of New Jersey that is created to house adolescents who are homeless and identify as LGBTQ. Through integrated solutions it offers educational & financial responsibility resources as well as wrap around services in substance abuse and mental health counseling and drug testing. Elaine aims to accomplish the mission of the organization by assisting LGBTQ young adults and helping them devise their plans to have healthy relationships, employment, stable housing, and positive lives. This will also be accomplished by partnering with promising organizations to create a network of valuable resources youth can depend on to assist them in achieving their goals. We've partnered with local organizations, who have been providing services to this same demographic of people for years. Our service helps complete and support their efforts to helping our LGBT individuals, especially those who are faced with no where to live, regroup, and reposition.
How You Can Help
Your generous funding will help assist us with the cost of further development, operational needs, utilities and food for the residents who need us.
Our organization needs pledging but above all it needs your attention and interest! If you love this service as much as we do then please take a moment to click on one of our social media buttons (Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at the bottom of the page). Help us spread the word and get things started!
Donatations large or small, we need it.. , donate $10; do something positive that will have a direct impact on LGBT youth in New Jersey
How We'll Use the Funds
We need about $27,600 in order to pay one full years mortgage to house homeless youth and adolescents. We think it is important to mention 100% of the donations received will be going toward payment of the house; none of the founders or executive level staff is going to be taking any pay.
Final Thank You and Links
We feel so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read about the campaign and for those who contributed what they could to make a difference and helping us spread the word. We have spent the last year or so working hard to bring our vision to life in this cause and it was worth every minute thanks to all our generous supporters. Please know your efforts, even the smallest, don’t go unnoticed. We will continue to keep you posted on what your donation helped us achieve. You are part of our family.
If you cannot donate but you are interested in helping, please contact us so we can set you up with a referral/volunteer program!
If you wish to contact us:
Our Social Media Connections:
- Courtney Boisseau
- Afina Broekman
- Ellen DeSarno
- Erin Bush
East Orange, NJ