Black & White Logo for our first Birthday / Pride T-Shirt designed by Belan Corvalan. Feb 2018.
We are LGBTIQ+ colleagues, friends & activists who work in the Homeless sector & have lived experience of homelessness & the unique, complex issues our community face. We volunteered to launch the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ Crisis/Homeless Shelter & Community Centre. We launched publicly at London Pride 2017, campaigning alongside the passionate & talented LGBTIQ+ community of activists & artists.
Project founders Carla & Heather attaching the banner to the Pride Punx float at London Pride – July 2017
During the summer 2017 we crowdfunded £11.5k. This enabled us to buy a 12 bed tour bus to host the shelter that winter. Through ongoing support from the community & grant funding from the local authority we were able to deliver a professional shelter & community hub between December 2017 – March 2018, demonstrating the need for this vital service on a year round basis.
To celebrate the arrival of the shelter in the area ahead of its opening, local groups met to present their projects & do a walk of solidarity, followed by a sleep-in at the shelter. November 2017.
Two weeks after the shelter opened we launched the hub space. This allowed people to self refer into the project. It also created much needed social space for our guests. December 2017.
(We continue to run a weekly Queer Space at the Streets Kitchen Solidarity Centre)
Following the success of the pilot we received support from Mayor of London – Sadiq Khan & funding through his Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund to develop the project into a 24/7, building based service. (Press Release)
The shelter will have a community centre at its heart to reach those more at risk of rough sleeping & bring together our community so that marginalised groups do not feel left ‘outside’. The centre will be a mix of cultural & artistic hub, offering safe daytime refuge & cafe space alongside queer led services, pop-up businesses & co-working space for marginalised groups. Holistic case work, advice, housing & employment support will be delivered by Stonewall Housing.
“At the centre of our community are the most vulnerable members, we owe all of our current LGBTIQ+ rights to the homeless, transgender & marginalised queers who stood up for us 49 years ago in the Stonewall Riots.” Tam Vibert, Community Centre Director
We are currently looking for a permanent venue to launch this project full time & further funding to secure the project long term.
The Outside Project is a homeless/crisis shelter & Community Centre in response to those within the LGBTIQ+ community who feel endangered, who are homeless, ‘hidden’ homeless & feel that they are on the outside of services due to historical & present prejudice in society & in their homes.
We host & attend events & fundraisers to promote the project, reaching members of the community that hadn’t considered themselves to be in crisis or at risk of homelessness. We run workshops & sober spaces at community events eg: Pride events, Grassmovement Festival, Lush on Oxford Street & the Lush Summit, Teen Challenge, Trans Pride, youth camps.
We are very active on social media, building a large following across sites.
Daniel Vs. The World & Meth at Her Upstairs – Queer Goes Nothing Fundraiser
We are happy to attend team meetings & services to encourage better practise in services. It is especially helpful for us to attend HPU’s, homelessness services, physical, mental & sexual health services & drug & alcohol services.
We have presented the project at several appropriate meetings within the sector such as the East London Delivery Board, Homeless Link’s Outreach worker forum, Pan London Outreach Womens Network, Domestic Violence conferences, & Council & local service team meetings.
If you would like a member of our team to attend your service or deliver a workshop at your event, please contact Carla.Ecola@LGBTIQoutside.org
View of the 12 bunks from the shelter lounge
Each guest had their own bunk that they personalised.
The shelter lounge hosted many movie nights, fierce games of UNO & an endless supply of Christmas chocolate
Guests decorated the lounge. Thanks to the Carol Singing Drag Queen’s of Dragged Around London we were able to take guests for a 3 course Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day.
Our tiny bus kitchen. We were very lucky to have delicious healthy meals cooked off site & delivered to the project by volunteers.