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Not all LGBTQIA+ children have been welcomed, wanted, or safe in the homes where they were raised. In 1995, Al Toney III, Judi Kirk and other volunteers launched Safe Homes, a Central Massachusetts program for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth who were homeless or living in hostile 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.