In a world where acceptance is sometimes challenged, the Harvey House opens its doors to the LGBTQ+ community in the name of compassion and unity.
“When you feel like you have nowhere else to go or anyone that cares about you, you have a family and support system at Harvey House,” said Harvey House President Kristen Angelo.
While the non-profit’s mission is to provide a support system for youth of Toledo and outlying areas in the 12-19 age group, no child who needs help will be turned away.
The house is the first shelter for LBGTQ+ youth in NW Ohio, giving them a safe space to socialize, learn and have access to resources, regardless of their sexual orientation, or what gender they identify with. Connections for counseling, drug and alcohol recovery programs, health services, job opportunities, and legal assistance are among the services the facility will offer. Those underserved LGBTQ+ and allied youth will also have access to emergency food, hygiene products and clothing.
“We also hope to be at the forefront of fighting youth homelessness, mental health issues, drug use, suicide and other issues by addressing these problems before they can reach the point of crisis,” said Angelo.
Anyone coming to the house does not have to worry about spending a ton of money; all activities and services are free of charge. By accepting private donations and holding fundraisers, the Harvey House will continue to help the community at no cost. Operating hours will be limited to 5-8pm Mondays and Wednesdays, and 12-7pm Saturdays for the foreseeable future. Hours will be extended once the staff and youth coordinate a set schedule which best fits the needs of the space.
Harvey House invites the public to participate in the Center’s grand opening. By allowing the community to explore the facility, meet with volunteers and hear youth tell their struggles for acceptance, Harvey House aims to raise awareness on the difficulties LGBTQ+ youth face. Join them for the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate their new facility. You might come away with a new understanding of what it means to be LBGTQ+.
Harvey House Grand Opening
1-4pm. Sunday, March 5.
Harvey House of NW Ohio
1415 W. Sylvania Ave.