July 13, 2024

The Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn MS, today visited the Tŷ Pride project in Rhyl, which supports LGBTQ+ young people who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Tŷ Pride is Wales’ only LGBTQ+ specified supported living project and is the result of an innovative partnership between Denbighshire County Council, homeless charity Llamau and the charity West Rhyl Young People’s Project, represented by its specialist team, Viva LGBTQ+.

 

The project launched in summer 2019 and welcomed its first residents in December of that year after research showed that young people within the LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately affected by homelessness.

The ‘Out on the Streets’ report by End Youth Homelessness Cymru shone a spotlight over the increased vulnerabilities faced by LGBTQ+ young people in Wales. These include family rejection, increased experience of abuse, family breakdown, and stigmatisation. These in turn directly and indirectly contribute to their increased risk of experiencing homelessness and poor mental health.

 

Emma Evans, Assistant Head of Service Delivery & Quality Assurance who is responsible for Tŷ Pride said, “This is a safe, non-judgmental, and inclusive space for young people that have been made homeless or have been threatened by homelessness who are also LGBTQ+. At Tŷ Pride, residents begin a programme of intense life skills among a supportive and accepting community of peers who understand the challenges, stigma, and discrimination each other has faced. To date, nearly 50 young people have been referred to Tŷ Pride from across Wales, demonstrating the demand for this type of service.”

 

The Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn, said: “We want to make Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe. As a government, we’re committed to championing and supporting inclusivity, and our LGBTQ+ Action Plan has been praised as an ‘example of good practice in human rights policymaking’ by the UN.

“Within the Plan, we’ve outlined our vision of ensuring LGBTQ+ people facing homelessness feel services are inclusive of their specific needs and that support is easy to understand are accessible. Tŷ Pride is an excellent example of where Welsh Government, through our Youth Homelessness Innovation Fund, has supported the development of such services.

“Across Wales, we are investing more than £210m in homelessness prevention services this year alone, including continuing to invest over £3.1m in the Youth Homelessness Innovation Fund. I look forward to sharing the values that have helped shape Tŷ Pride with other local authorities to ensure homelessness services are equipped to sensitively engage with LGBTQ+ people.”

 

The Welsh Government’s LGBTQ+ Action Plan was launched in February this year and is part of our Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru

 Councillor Rhys Thomas, Cabinet Lead member for Housing and Communities said, “Denbighshire County Council is immensely proud of its involvement with Tŷ Pride. We know that being homeless is a worrying and stressful experience and Tŷ Pride is leading the way in supporting vulnerable LGBTQ+ young people in the County. Having a dedicated facility which works to engage with these young people to build a better future is part of the Council’s commitment to ensure a fairer, safe, and more equal Denbighshire.”

 

Julie Matthews, Denbighshire County Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Corporate Strategy, Policy, and Equalities, said, “One of the Council’s key aims is to reduce inequalities and ensure that people from diverse backgrounds are heard and inform decision making. Seeing how young LGBTQ+ young people are supported and thriving in Tŷ Pride is inspirational, and I would like to thank the team for all their hard work.  This really is an example of excellent practice and testament to how partnership working is effective.”

 

Since the project first opened, the Tŷ Pride partnership has been able to support ten young people. Four are living independently and have maintained this for between four and six months. They are all are thriving in their new homes.  Three remain living in the project and three have returned to live with their families.