Warsaw becomes the second city in Poland to open emergency housing for LGBT+ people, despite the government’s hostility towards the community.
The emergency housing offers temporary shelter to homeless LGBT+ youth who lost their home because of their sexual orientation. This project is funded by four Polish NGOs, including Fundacja po Drugie.
As Agnieszka Sikora from Fundacja po Drugie highlights, they’ve been working with LGBT+ community for years. “My foundation supports homeless youth, no matter how they identify. But we decided it was more appropriate to create a separate space to focus more on the needs of LGBT+ youth.”
Beyond temporary housing, the initiative also offers psychological support for those affected by homophobia. This comes as Poland’s ruling party is increasingly targeting the LGBT+ community, calling homosexuality a ‘threat to traditional family values’.
“Every person has the right to intimacy, dignity and a place to safely start over,” Sikora continues. “People who have experienced homelessness don’t just come to us with a single issue. They often come with a whole set of problems. Simply finding them work is not going to solve it. We aim to support them in overcoming difficulties and building a better, happier life.”
Similarly, big cities in Poland have offered their backing. The mayor of Warsaw signed a declaration of support for the community and announced plans to open its first city-funded LGBT+ shelter. Equally, Cracow offered 184,000 zlotys (£34,000) of city money to The Voice of Heart, an NGO which has run an LGBT shelter there since 2016.
Homeless youth can reach the charity by calling +48 693 90 40 44 or emailing one of the foundations.