Cyndi Lauper opened a 30-bed housing facility for homeless LGBT youth in Harlem in September of 2011.
The True Colors Residence, named after her 1986 hit True Colors –which has become the unofficial “be yourself” anthem– is located on West 154th Street nearFrederick Douglass Boulevard and is the first permanent housing facility of its kind in the city.
Lauper has been a big supporter for LGBT rights, was moved to pursue this project because up to 40 percent of homeless youth in the city identify as LGBT.
“These young people often face discrimination and at times physical assault in some of the very places they have to go for help. This is shocking and inexcusable!
Kids are coming out in greater numbers as they see themselves accepted and represented on TV and in movies, but they’re still being kicked out of their homes or running away and living on the streets. We need to make sure we’re taking care of them. This is the next generation of the LGBT community.”
It’s a new energy-efficient building with 30 studio apartments for youths aged 18 to 24, complete with indoor and outdoor community space. Residents will pay some rent (based on their income) and will get counseling and help with job placement. Yay Cyndi! We need more of these kinds of facilities around the country. 30 beds are great but we need many more.
The True Colors Residence is a project of West End Residences, an incredible organization here in NYC. Cyndi is honored to be a co-founder of the True Colors Residence in Harlem and the new property in Bronx.
You can find all of the information about the True Colors Residence here: http://westendres.org/residences/true-colors-residence/
[ article by Trey Speegle ]