The Metamorphosis Project
The Metamorphosis Project is OUTMemphis’s response to the urgent needs of homeless LGBTQ youth. This initiative is a collection of services that are varied in scope, including emergency services, peer-led social groups, life skills classes, an upcoming shelter, and other activities aimed at this underserved population.
As part of The Metamorphosis Project, we have instituted our Rapid Rehousing Program with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to connect these young people to the service they need the most: stable housing. Current studies show that around 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Lack of housing is a barrier to many other things, including employment, housing, food security, and education.
Our Rapid Rehousing Program is available to LGBTQ youth ages 18-24 who are currently unhoused and/or experiencing homelessness. After an initial application and interview process, qualified applicants are given assistance with finding a stable residence.
Our Youth Services Manager, Stephanie Bell, assists the individual with the process of applying for and signing the lease, as well as financial assistance with initial moving costs. After that, the young person receives step down support with their rent (which goes down over time as they pay more and more of it on their own) and case management to help connect them with stable employment, education, and other needs. All of these services are designed to help the young adult step into adult life and support themselves.
Throughout the individual’s time in our Rapid Rehousing Program, they are closely connected to case management that helps with everything from employment, navigation to needed resources, and access to Youth Emergency Services, another facet of The Metamorphosis Project that provides food, furniture, household items, and transportation.
This program has been fortunate to have multiple financial supporters including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, City of Memphis: Division of Housing and Community Development, Plough Foundation, Assisi Foundation, Mystic Krewe of Pegasus Memphis, and a group of passionate individual donors.
OUTMemphis is committed to advocating for the needs of the LGBTQ community in the Mid-South. OUTMemphis serves a hub of LGBTQ activity in Memphis, and as such will continue to provide services to those in our community most in need. WE ARE HERE to make sure Memphis is an affirming city for LGBTQ people.