We are LGBTIQ+ colleagues, friends & activists who work in London’s Homelessness Sector. We have lived experience of homelessness and the unique, complex issues our community face.
Having worked in high support hostels and daycentre services we recognised the disadvantage and gap in service provision for LGBTIQ+ people. We volunteered to launch the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ Crisis/Homeless Winter Shelter and Community Centre.
We received funding from London Frontline Outreach Worker Network to develop the project.
We launched our crowdfunding campaign at Gays The Word bookshop in May 2017.
We had our first fundraiser in the basement of Hackney LGBTIQ+ venue – The Glory and attended Pride in London with Pride Punx the following day.
London’s LGBTIQ+ cabaret, punk and activist community overwhelmingly supported us throughout the summer to raise the £11.5k needed to buy a 12 bed tour bus to host our pilot shelter project.
Our pilot shelter opened from December to February and we continued to support with Outreach throughout the ‘Beast from the East’ snow storm. From this Winter pilot we were able to demonstrate a need for a year round provision.
We spent the summer holding sober spaces at community events and festivals. We continued to support the community through outreach work of our team. We formed a bloc at the London Pride Parade alongside activists and community groups that had supported us throughout 2017.
We launched a weekly community hub in Camden in partnership with Castlehaven Community Centre and the Black Cap Foundation. We host our first Christmas Day Dinner Party, inviting 50+ members of the LGBTIQ+ Community to join us for Christmas dinner.
With funding from the Mayor of London we reopened the shelter as a year round service in partnership with Stonewall Housing. The shelter opened on Christmas Eve 2018 and has remained open every night since.
We moved into the former Clerkenwell Fire Station and open our LGBTIQ+ Community Centre in the fire engine garage. The Shelter and offices are based in the former fire fighters housing on the upper levels.
Alongside the Outside Projects weekly social, support and recovery groups the community centre becomes a busy creative and meeting space home to many activist, community groups and creative projects:
In response to COVID-19 The Outside Project opened STAR Refuge. Initially funded in June 2020 this project has been refunded twice by MOPAC. The Outside Project hired a new interim CEO Maari Nastari in February 2021 to develop the service into a long-term provision. We are now looking for a high quality accommodation provider to partner with on this exciting project – finding this much needed service a long-term home in London. If this is something you are able to support us with then please get in touch with our CEO Maari Nastari.
In partnership with a national hotel chain we opened a hotel in Soho exclusively for the use of the LGBTIQ+ community from September 2020 – February 2021. Our Outreach team continues to support LGBTIQ+ people in the COVID-19 protect hotels today.
We are looking to develop this project into a LGBTIQ+ Pan-London Outreach and emergency accommodation provision. Please contact our Managing Director Carla Ecola if you are a hotel provider or a funder interested in supporting this project.