Project Fierce Chicago’s mission is to reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing affirming transitional housing and support services to homeless LGBTQ young adults. We launched the organization publicly with a fundraising campaign in April of 2013 to raise funds to file our 501(c)3 application, and were overwhelmed by the community’s response! We received a great deal of media coverage, and raised $15,000 – largely from small ($50 and under) donations from community members. Since our initial campaign, our collective has tripled in size, we have received our legal non-profit status and we’ve successfully raised a third of our first-year operating budget. We are moving forward and growing rapidly!
The community’s feedback and interest in the project has been incredible and humbling, and points to how fundamental the issue of LGBTQ youth homelessness is to our community. Local organizations have reached out to us to make donations and to forge partnerships; local artists, writers and performers have created campaigns especially for PFC and our fundraising; we have even had couples request that their wedding guests forego gifts in lieu of donating to PFC! We are grateful for this support, and will continue to build and nourish these types of relationships.
We are currently working to raise funds to purchase a foreclosed building on the West or South side that we will convert into transitional housing for 10-12 LGBTQ-identified young adults. In an effort to assure sustainability of our space, we will also offer low-cost office rental space in the building for grassroots, social justice-focused non-profits seeking a home. Through these partnerships, we will be able to provide wrap-around services while simultaneously offsetting operational costs.