The coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated the challenges faced by vulnerable populations, like those of some LGBTQ youth who are now homeless. The founder of one homeless shelter said she sees the effect every day.
Ruby Corado is executive director of Casa Ruby, a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth. She said the hundreds of youth she normally sees in a day has tripled.
"For many clients, we are the only lifeline that they have left. Many of them will not be getting government checks, and for many of them, if we close the doors, they have lost a lifeline that they have to survive," Corado said.
Vulnerable youth like Jailyn Grey and NeNe Watson had no place to turn and needed the help of Casa Ruby.
"Because of my transition, some of my family weren’t accepting. So I had to find somewhere else to live, and I found Casa Ruby," said Watson.
When people are forced to spend more time inside, they can find it difficult if family is not accepting of their identity.
"I had hard times with family and being in an LGBTQ-friendly environment," Grey said.
The staff here are doing what they can to feed and house young people. But Corado said supplies are quickly running out as her numbers continue to soar.
"I would like to ask the public to please support organizations like Casa Ruby. We need food, we need supplies, we need resources to keep our doors open," she said.
If you are interested in helping Casa Ruby and the LGBTQ youth who use the shelter, you can go to their website and make a donation.