Hurricane Irma: Here’s How You Can Help Homeless Youth

Sep 2017
Hurricane Irma
Evacuees wait to enter the Germain Arena, which is being used as a shelter, in advance of Hurricane Irma, in Estero, FL, Saturday. Photo credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

What kind of damage has Irma done?

Since making landfall in Florida, Irma has caused severe flooding, taken 10 lives, and caused power outages that could last for weeks. Since the weekend, the storm has passed through Georgia and South Carolina, and now turns northwest toward the Tennessee Valley. Nearly 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone.

For people experiencing homelessness, every night is a fight for survival. In times of national disaster, they’re even more vulnerable. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services notes that people experiencing homelessness are more likely to have a negative reaction, be it physical or psychological, to a disaster situation than the general public. Furthermore, national disasters can dramatically increase the homelessness rate in a matter of hours – leaving a lasting impact.

Here’s what you can do to help.

Emergency responders and service providers have shown true heroism in the face of this disaster, and they need your support now more than ever. The easiest and most immediate way to support is by making a financial donation.

We recommend giving to:

  • The Central Florida Foundation’s Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
    • Central Florida Foundation has activated the Hurricane Irma Relief Fund to help nonprofits stabilize and rebuild to get back to doing business as usual serving their clients and continuing their programs.
  • The Red Cross
    • The Red Cross is providing immediate relief to the people affected by Irma.

We also recommend supporting the following organizations, who specifically serve Florida’s LGBT community:

  • Pridelines
    • Pridelines operates the only LGBTQ community center in Miami, and also houses the city’s only program specifically designed to support LGBTQ Youth experiencing homelessness (Project SAFE). Pridelines is currently supporting local LGBTQ youth/adults with meeting their immediate post-storm needs (including food, shelter, emergency power, WiFi, etc.).
  • Zebra Youth
    • Zebra Youth provides safe space for LGBTQ+ youth, including support for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • One Orlando Alliance
    • A Coalition of LGBTQ+ organizations in Central Florida.
  • The Center Orlando
    • Provides programs and support for the LGBTQ community in Central Florida.
  • Contigo Fund
    • The Contigo Fund is an effort to strengthen and network existing agencies and to identify and support grassroots efforts that advance Latinx and LGBTQ causes and the intersection of these two communities.
*This is a running list, informed by partners of the True Colors Fund.