Friends of Ruby, the charity dedicated to LGBTQI2S youth, have announced the opening of the Friends of Ruby Home, an innovative custom-built transitional house for LGBTQI2S young people, aged 16-29.

LGBTQI2S youth face disproportionately high rates of family rejection, trauma and violence and, due to fear of exclusion and harassment, many end up on the streets. The COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the LGBTQI2S community particularly hard, has intensified the crisis, particularly for Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) within the community.

Located at 257 Dundas St. East, Toronto, the Friends of Ruby Home was designed after comprehensive consultation with young people from the LGBTQI2S community, with the aim to make it feel like a home – a warm and welcoming place that supports them wherever they are on their personal journeys. People between the ages of 16 and 29 who identify as LGBTQI2S can apply to live at the Friends of Ruby Home through an online application or through a referral by another service provider.

“The Friends of Ruby Home is uniquely suited to help LGBTQI2S youth during these times due to its one-of-a-kind mental health approach, including in-house programs and services tailored to their specific needs,” said Carol Osler, Friends of Ruby Executive Director. “From immediate crisis support to long-term life goal planning, everything at the facility will be geared towards helping youth achieve healthier, independent lives.”

Due to family rejection, many LGBTQI2S youth have a difficult relationship with the idea of ‘Home’. The Friends of Ruby Home will provide much more than a roof over their heads. For many, it will be the first place they experience community. It will house 33 LGBTQI2S youth (aged 16-29) in mostly individual rooms (with a few rooms for couples) along with shared spaces to foster a sense of connection. The facility is fully accessible, energy-efficient and pet-friendly, with a pet shower serving the needs of the facility’s four-legged inhabitants in the basement, as well as a rooftop garden for solitude and leisure.

The official opening of the Friends of Ruby Home will take place on December 1, 2020, with staggered move-ins to take place throughout December and January. To learn more about Friends of Ruby programs and services, click here.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.