The Metamorphosis Project is the OUTMemphis response to LGBTQ youth homelessness in Memphis. This project has been evolving for years, and has multiple pieces that work simultaneously to address the various needs of young LGBTQ people without stable housing and resources.
The focus of the project will be our new Youth Emergency Center. The facility will host Memphis’ only youth drop in center as well as the city’s only LGBTQ youth-specific emergency shelter. The building will serve as the hub for our Youth Emergency Services (YES) Program, which has provided food, clothes, hygiene supplies, and many other services for years. The Rapid Re-Housing component will help us achieve the ultimate goal: providing clients a bridge to move from needing emergency shelter to living independently.
This project is the culmination of all the emergency services that we offer, and will finally allow us the space to provide support to one of our most vulnerable populations; LGBTQ 18-24 year olds living on the streets.
In the U.S., Over 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ. This is largely due to family and societal rejection. Memphis is currently lacking in resources that support LGBTQ youth on the streets.
Approximate % of individuals that identify as LGBTQ in the general population
Approximate % of youth that identify as LGBTQ on the street nationwide
Youth Emergency Services (YES) Program
Rapid Re-Housing Program
There are three parts of the Metamorphosis Project and they are in different stages:
- Where we are: The YES Program is actively offering services to clients on a daily basis. This includes providing food, clothes, bus passes, case management and more to clients that are enrolled in the program.
- How you can help: As of Sept 2017 we are not taking in anymore clothes or travel sized hygiene supplies as donations. Please direct donations toward Manna House as they have been instrumental in helping us move this project forward. Items that we are currently accepting can be found here!
Rapid Re-Housing Program:
- Where we are: The rapid re-housing portion of the Metamorphosis Project has recently started moving clients into their apartments. As of Sept 2017 we have moved 14 young adults into stable housing. Our program is currently full, but individuals in need should still contact us to be connected to services. This portion of the project was recently sponsored by IKEA! You can see more below about the amazing donation they made to support our young people!
- How you can help: We are currently looking for new or gently used home furnishings. For a list of items we are currently looking for, click here!
Funds raised for our Youth Emergency Center
Youth Emergency Shelter and Drop-in Center:
- Where we are: We are currently still fundraising for this portion of the Metamorphosis Project. We have received a $125,000 matching grant from the Assisi Foundation!
- How you can help: We are actively trying to raise our end of the match grant! We are also searching for contractors and other skilled trade workers to assist with building when we are ready.
For more information on how you can help, please contact Stephanie.
What if a young adult is under the age of 18?
If you are under 18 years old and are experiencing homelessness, there are resources out there for you! The services offered at OUTMemphis for youth experiencing homelessness are for 18 and older but many of our partner agencies provide runaway beds and resources to serve unaccompanied minors.
Youth Villages participates in Project Safe Space and has a house with runaway beds on Poplar ave. Please contact them for more information.
Porter Leath also has runaway beds and also has a hotline number that you can call-(901) 573-8016
If you are confused about where to go or need assistance contacting one of these agencies, contact Stephanie Bell or Stephanie Reyes and we will provide as much assistance with connecting you to services as we can.
Who is eligible for the Metamorphosis Project Services?
The Youth Emergency Services Program is for young adults who:
- Are between the ages of 18 & 24
- Identify as LGBTQ
Please note: You do not need to be experiencing homelessness to receive services.
The Rapid Re-Housing Program is for young adults who:
- Are between the ages of 18 & 24
- Are literally homeless (You slept on the street, in a car, in an abandoned building, etc, the night before. This can also include couch surfing, which is when you stay with various friends/family because you have nowhere else to go)
- Identify as LGBTQ
What services are currently offered?
The services below are currently being offered through the Youth Emergency Services (YES) Program:
- Hygiene supplies
- Case management
- Transportation Assistance
- Mailing Address
- Resume assistance
- and more!
The Rapid Re-Housing program is currently full but if you are in need of housing services, please contact Stephanie Bell for more information.
Do you have to pay for services?
All services offered at OUTMemphis are free
The Metamorphosis Project in the news
This project has been fortunate to have many supporters, big and small. We truly appreciate the many, many people who have contributed in various ways over the years.
We are so incredibly thankful for IKEA and the donation they made to help furnish 10 apartments in our Rapid Re-Housing program in 2017! Our program participants enjoyed picking up their new furniture and putting it together in their new apartments. Thank you, IKEA, for helping our young people feel more comfortable in their new spaces!
Mystic Krewe of Pegasus
The Metamorphosis Project was selected as Mystic Krewe of Pegasus‘ 2017 Charity of the year! Mystic Krewe worked incredibly hard all year to host numerous events and fundraisers dedicated to making this project happen. In early 2018 Mystic Krewe awarded OUTMemphis with a $50,000 check for the Metamorphosis Project. We are so thankful for all of the members of Mystic Krewe of Pegasus and the donation they made to help us move closer to providing housing resources to LGBTQ youth in Memphis.