New apartment building houses formerly homeless LGBTQ young adults

Paul Kurtz
May 14, 2019 - 3:42 pm
The Gloria Casarez Residence Apartments is the first permanent LGBTQ-friendly young adult residence in the state of Pennsylvania.

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Project HOME, the Philadelphia nonprofit that helps the homeless, held a grand opening Tuesday of a four-story building that provides housing for a specific group of people.

Supporters and funders of the Gloria Casarez Residence Apartments on Eighth Street near Girard Avenue had a lot to cheer about: This is the first permanent LGBTQ-friendly young adult residence in the state of Pennsylvania. 

Project HOME co-founder Sister Mary Scullion says all 30 units are already taken. 

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"Everybody here pays 30 percent of their income for rent, and education and employment services are part of the program for the young adults that come here. Everybody has to be involved in employment and education cause that's the only way to pave the future," she said. 

Residents are also offered health care-related services, life skills and community building activities. 

For James Allen, the future looks a lot brighter now. He left home at the age of 19, desperate and contemplating suicide after years of verbal and emotional abuse dished out by his family.  

"It felt like a full circle moment. A large weight off my shoulders. It makes me so joyful to walk into my apartment everyday after work and school and feel gratitude. This is my domain. This is a place where I can express myself and how I want to be and be happy," he said.