The Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans MS, visited Tŷ Pride in Rhyl on Thursday 19 October.
Tŷ Pride is a groundbreaking project dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ young people who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This project, established through an innovative collaboration between Denbighshire County Council, homeless charity Llamau, and the West Rhyl Young People’s Project’s Viva LGBTQ+ team, stands as Wales’ sole LGBTQ+ specified supported living initiative.
Since its launch in the summer of 2019, Tŷ Pride has addressed the pressing issue of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. Alarming research, including the ‘Out on the Streets’ report by End Youth Homelessness Cymru, highlighted the increased vulnerabilities faced by LGBTQ+ young people in Wales, such as family rejection, abuse, family breakdown, and stigmatisation. These factors contribute directly and indirectly to their elevated risk of experiencing homelessness and suffering from poor mental health.
Sam Austin – Deputy Chief Executive said: “It is the first provision of its kind in Wales. As we go into yet another round of restricted funding and limited budgets, it is vital we protect services like this. Since the project first opened, the Tŷ Pride partnership has been able to support ten young people with great outcomes for all.”
Emma Evans, Assistant Head of Service Delivery & Quality Assurance at Tŷ Pride, expressed, “Tŷ Pride provides a safe, non-judgmental, and inclusive space for young LGBTQ+ individuals facing homelessness. Residents embark on a program of intense life skills within a supportive and accepting community of peers who understand the challenges, stigma, and discrimination they have faced. With nearly 50 young people referred to Tŷ Pride from across Wales, the demand for this service is evident.”
Councillor Gill German, Denbighshire County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Lead Member for Education, Children and Families said, “It was a pleasure to share with Finance Minister Rebecca Evans how Tŷ Pride is leading the way in supporting vulnerable LGBTQ+ young people in the county thanks to excellent partnership work, including with Welsh Government. The positive impact made on so many lives is inspirational, and we are proud to have this project in Denbighshire.”
Nicola Stubbins, Denbighshire County Council’s Corporate Director Social Services and Education emphasised the project’s alignment with the Council’s key aim of reducing inequalities. She said, “Having a dedicated facility that engages with young people to build a better future is part of the Council’s commitment to ensuring a fairer, safe, and more equal Denbighshire. We can see in the way that young LGBTQ+ individuals are supported and thriving in Tŷ Pride that this commitment is yielding positive results.”
Since its inception, the Tŷ Pride partnership has supported ten young people, with four now living independently, thriving in their new homes. Three residents remain at Tŷ Pride, and three have successfully returned to live with their families.
The visit by Rebecca Evans MS underscores the commitment of the Welsh Government to inclusivity and support for LGBTQ+ individuals facing homelessness. Tŷ Pride stands as a beacon of hope, exemplifying how collaboration and innovation can create positive change in the lives of vulnerable youth.