Not all LGBTQIA+ children have been welcomed, wanted, or safe in the homes where they were raised. In 1995, a program was started in Boston to support LGBTQIA+ youth living in foster care. Once funding for the original program ended, a group of volunteers including Mark Bilotta, Al Toney III and Judi Kirk, continued the work as Safe Homes of Central Massachusetts, a program for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth who were homeless or living in unsafe environments.
Safe Homes has grown to include peer leadership, group mentoring, a myriad of resources, and a drop-in center that has served thousands of youth over the years. We've become a "Youth Empowerment Movement" in Worcester. But our mainstay will always be in making sure that LGBTQIA+ youth and those who are exploring their sexual orientation, gender identities, and expressions have a nurturing, safe space to be themselves and get that vital support.
Click on the video below to watch a segment about the history, present and future of Safe Homes