BUILDING COMMUNITY AND TRAINING LEADERS WITH SUPPORT, EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY FOR LGBT HOMELESS & LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES
QEJ is the only organization to focus our work on the issues facing homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults. QEJ organizes low-income LGBTQ people on any form of public assistance, and offers them the opportunity to become involved in fighting for a more humane, just, and inclusive welfare system. Low-income LGBTQ people work with QEJ on:
- Outreach and Support: We run outreach and support groups at homeless shelters across the city. We are the only LGBT organization (and one of the very few groups of any kind) who go into homeless shelters. We provide support, as well as referrals to LGBT-sensitive services.
- Leadership Development: This 10-week course and organizing school provides low-income LGBT people with political analysis, as well as concrete advocacy and community organizing tools, to help them increase their ability to be effective advocates for social change.
- Trainings: We also bring shelter residents out of the shelter and into our monthly “Know Your Rights” Trainings, where we offer concrete information and tools for LGBT homeless people to better advocate for themselves.
- The Yvonne McNeil Shelter Safety Campaign: This is an anti-violence campaign named to remember 57 year-old butch elder, Yvonne McNeil, a QEJ shelter member who was murdered in front of her shelter by the police in 2011.
- LGBTQ Welfare Warriors Campaign: this grassroots community organizing effort brings LGBT people on public assistance together to work on issue-specific campaigns that will make the welfare system more inclusive of LGBT and gender-non-conforming people and their families, and more humane for all. Read more about this work.
- Advocacy: We advocate for fairer policies within the shelter system.
- In 2007, we successfully organized a coalition to demand that NYC treat homeless LGBT domestic partners as if they are a married couple when they apply for shelter.
- In 2006, we succeeded in getting NYC to create a policy that would allow transgender residents to self-determine which shelter system (male or female) they would like to live in
For more information about the Shelter Project or to get involved, contact Jay Toole, Director of the Shelter Organizing Project, at jay-at-q4ej.org.