Rockin Out Youth Homelessness

. July 6, 2015.

Homeless youths often find themselves on the periphery of society, and LGBTQQIA homeless youths can be doubly disenfranchised merely due to their identity. The Promise House Project seeks to assist and support both straight and LGBTQQIA homeless adolescents with their first ever battle of the bands-style fundraiser, Rockin Out Youth Homelessness. The PHP’s mission is to provide homeless LGBTQQIA and straight youths aged 12-17 with support, safety, and shelter. Through community effort, the Promise House Project aims to meet the needs of those struggling with poverty and treat each youth with dignity and respect. The project is rooted in the belief that all children deserve a safe home regardless of gender, sexuality, or identity.

The Rockin Out Youth Homelessness event on July 11th will help with costs for a hostel that will house disadvantaged and disenfranchised youths in the city. In addition to raising funds for a hostel, the battle of the bands will help promote awareness of the very real problems of youth homelessness and discrimination based on sex and gender. Adolescents who identify as LGBTQQIA make up 40% of homeless youths, but only between 3-7% of the general youth population.

“The disparity is apparent, especially when many LGBTQQIA youth are homeless because they came out and were kicked out,” said Promise House Project Director Lillian Briggs. “Another issue being that 1 in 3 trans-identified persons are turned away from shelters and resources because of bias and disenfranchisement.”

Come enjoy the local art auction, Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle, food and drink specials, and live, local music and spoken word talent at Rockin Out Youth Homelessness. From 6-8pm various community organizations will host a sidewalk fair. One of the eight competing bands will be voted by the audience as “Toledo’s Band of Promise,” based on who has raised the most money in their individual band bucket.  Vote for your favorite local band by donating money to their bucket. The winner will win ⅓ of the covers collected at the door during the night.

The competing bands include Silver Age, Steel Wynd, Meet Me In Manhattan, Orlando Finelli Music and the Flying Finelli Family, Sarah Cohen, Angel Tipping Music, Jay and Mick, and T-Town Tassels, with spoken word talent Lorraine Cipriano from Women Unbound.

If you can’t make it to the battle of the bands, or you just want to show even more support for the cause, come out to the Youth Homelessness is a Drag pre-party on July 10th at Bretz Nightclub. From 11am-2pm enjoy drink specials, food trucks, and drag shows, with special guest Dave Crafts from the UpTown Association appearing in drag. Try your luck with a 20/80 raffle, with 20% of proceeds benefitting the Promise House Project and 80% benefitting the winner of the pot.  

“We cannot do anything for anyone in the community unless we act like a community,” said Briggs. “For a project like this we need all hands on deck.”

Come out and play a part in putting an end to youth homelessness in Toledo. July 11, 6pm-midnight. Tickets $10 online (discount code on Facebook page), $15 at door. The Moxie, 1205 Adams St. 419-320-1075.