Institute’s Connect 4 Life Program Completes First Funding Round Effort to Support Homeless LGBT Youth to Launch in D.C. This Quarter
Thanks to the generous year-end support of donors and organizational partners all across the U.S., the LGBT Technology Institute will soon be providing mobile connectivity to homeless and at-risk LGBT youth in the nation’s capital.
The Connect 4 Life program closed a successful crowdfunding round on January 23, receiving over $10,000 in gifts. A dollar-for-dollar matching grant from the Arcus Foundation helped ensure the campaign would exceed its goal of $7,500. Other major supporters include David Wells Consulting and Malvin Riggins & Company.
“We are thrilled by the outpouring of community support for this program,” said Institute director Allyson Dylan Robinson, “and having early backing from the Arcus Foundation, one of the most forward-thinking philanthropic funders of the LGBT movement, is especially encouraging. It means we’ll be able to put mobile phones in the hands of young people who desperately need them sooner and support them more effectively – helping them get off the streets and rebuild their lives.”
Connect 4 Life distributes mobile phones free of charge to LGBT youth who are experiencing homelessness, along with a year’s worth of minutes. The program is based upon research conducted by the LGBT Technology Institute last year, which showed that outcomes for homeless youth are significantly improved when they own a mobile phone and have reliable Internet connectivity. “The research shows young homeless people use mobile phones to connect with life saving services such as access to a case worker or social worker, to contact current or potential employers, or stay in touch with their support network,” said Robinson
Working in coordination with industry partners and local LGBT youth services organizations, the Institute plans to establish pilot phone distribution programs in three U.S. cities in 2015, beginning with Washington, D.C. Look for an announcement of partner organizations for the D.C. pilot in the coming weeks.
To find out more about the Connect 4 Life program or to make a donation, please click here