Casa Ruby

Casa Ruby Facing Closure After DC Doesn't Renew Funding

Shelter has served LGBTQ youth for 20 years

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One of the longest serving shelters for young LGBTQ people experiencing homelessness in D.C. is losing almost $1 million in funding from the D.C. government.

The founder of Casa Ruby says she’s going to be forced to close her doors after more than 20 years.

The shelter offers a safe place to stay or support services for LGBTQ youth.

“We are the lifeline of people that have nowhere to go,” founder Ruby Corado said.

Last week, Corado was notified by the D.C. Department of Human Services that she would not be receiving her annual grant of $839,000 that helps fund the shelter.

“In two days, Casa Ruby will close the doors to vulnerable people because we don’t have the resources that are needed,” Corado said.

She said she’s shocked by the decision. She’s been a political supporter of Mayor Muriel Bowser for years, and Bowser has been a vocal supporter of Corado and her work.

D.C. Director of Human Services Laura Zeilinger said she admires Corado and her advocacy, and while she would not go into specifics, she indicated there were problems with the services Casa Ruby was given money to provide.

“It is about ensuring that there’s accountability to the requirements of the grant, that if there are deficiencies, those deficiencies -- we gave ample time and support to correct those,” Zeilinger said.

Corado says nobody talked to her about any problems.

“You don’t leave people without support, people with nothing when we’re about to enter hypothermia season,” Corado said.

“We’re confident in our continued ability to meet the needs of any young person,” Zeilinger said.

“We’ll accomodate them somewhere else in our continuum,” she added. “We do have beds and we do have availability of beds, including beds that are specifically targeted for LGBTQ.”

Casa Ruby set up a GoFundMe campaign but has not come close to raising enough money to replace the grant.

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