It took years of revised plans and fundraising, but on March 3 Vida/SIDA cut the ribbon on its much-anticipated LGBT homeless youth shelter, the first of its kind in the Midwest.
More than 75 people packed into the Humboldt Park organization to celebrate the opening of El Rescate.
"This is about hope," said Cook County Commissioner Edwin Reyes. "It's about dignity, and it's about saving lives."
The transitional housing facility, located on the 4th floor of Vida/SIDA ( 2703 W. Division ) , will house up to 12 LGBT youths ages 18-24 and provide young people with social services like employment and education resources, skills training and case management.
The brightly-painted space contains bedrooms with bunk beds and desks, a lounge and a full kitchen/ dining area.
Plans to open the shelter have been in the works for more than three years. Vida/SIDA had announced the housing as a 2010 goal but struggled through fundraising and red tape to make it happen.
But on March 3, the doors finally opened.Read more in the Windy City Times