Tony’s Place returns to its Montrose roots with a new location on Bering Church’s Open Gate campus. After two years without a physical home, Tony’s Place is opening its weekend drop-in center for LGBTQ+ youth.
Founded in 2016, Tony’s Place serves at-risk LGBTQ+ youth and allies. Named after late community leader, Tony Carroll, the center spent its first year in an old, two-story home on Montrose Boulevard, later moving into a shared space with the Salvation Army’s Young Adult Resource Center.
For two years during the pandemic, Tony’s Place operated without a facility, focusing on street outreach to its clients. Their new location, a standalone building on Bering Church’s Open Gate campus, provides services like laundry, a kitchen, showers, a community closet, and referrals to a variety of services with partnering organizations.
Tony’s Place promotes respect, physical safety, security, and development for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies up to age 25 who are unstably housed, couch-surfing, or experiencing homelessness. They help youth survive on a day-to-day basis by providing services to meet their immediate, basic needs. When needed or desired, they also provide referrals to services that will help the youth develop and thrive in the long term through education, health and wellness, and cultural development. By accomplishing their mission, they want to help equip their members with skills to manage and avoid the challenges and barriers they face. These include exposure to drugs and alcohol, victimization, involvement in the criminal justice system, being sexually trafficked or engaging in survival sex.
According to the National Network for Youth, LGBTQ+ youth make up 40% of the 4.2 million youth experiencing homelessness while only comprising 9.5% of the overall youth population. These youth are also more likely to experience assault, trauma, depression, and suicide compared to their non-LGBTQ+ peers experiencing homelessness.
The drop-in center is currently open Saturdays, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.