Why is Mayor Emmanuel not supporting homeless LGBT youth on the streets? While the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) understands the Mayor’s need to cut wasteful spending, we don’t understand why he is dismissing the needs of LGBT Youth by turning over some services to Catholic Charities.
Now homeless youth are encouraged by local none Catholic Churches on the north side to ride the Blue Line during late hours in order to get sleep in a safe environment. Some of these Churches are opening their facilities to homeless LGBT/Straight youth to provide showers on the weekend. Lakeview Presbyterian supports a Cafe Pride that gives LGBT youth a safe space for about 4 hours every Friday night.
Have you heard about The Crib? It’s Chicago’s only overnight, low-threshold shelter for homeless gay and straight youth ages 18-24. Staffed by The Night Ministry, it is located at Lakeview Lutheran Church, on Chicago’s North Side. What is the Catholic Church doing around this issue absolutely nothing and that includes Catholic Charities. This facility was recently closed for the summer because of lack of funding.
The RSM is concerned that Mayor Emanuel is willing to turn over the operation of providing rides to these homeless youths to Catholic Charities an organization that has already closed down it adoption agencies across the state, and has decided not to re-open up its Chicago operation because the clients were LGBT. We do not think it is unreasonable to ask will LGBT youth get a fair shake from Catholic Charities if they already refuse to serve LGBT families.
While the Mayors goal is laudable we have to ask is it prudent given Catholic Charities track record and willingness not to serve the LGBT Community, or to even engage in dialogue about the issue. We understand the Mayor will use money saved by this transfer to Catholic Charities as a way to save $1.7 million in annual savings, and that would allow for the city to provide more beds at area shelters, but at what cost to LGBT Youth. We should not be robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Since evil is the defect of the good, the lack of a good that ought to be there and nothing positive in itself, it follows that the greatest evil is found where the highest good has been corrupted. Equal access is the highest good in this case.
We do not believe the needs of LGBT Youth should be dismissed in order to get Catholic Charities on board with this program. We are calling on the mayor to reconsider his decision, or to guarantee that Catholic Charities will serve all youth regardless of their sexual orientation.
Board of Directors
Rainbow Sash Movement
Rainbow Sash Movement