Qendra Streha (Streha Center), is a project started in 2014 by two LGBTI organizations in Albania. It is a shelter facility for homeless LGBTI youth at risk.
Homelessness is one of the most urgent problems among LGBTI youth. Also, there is a lack of government facilitated LGBTI support programs. The success of Streha’s existing shelter also had a downside: people were left out on the streets. This is either because the shelter is fully occupied, or because some of those in need do not meet the criteria for the shelter, such as age restrictions: only young people between 18-25 years old are eligible for support.
The first time I felt lucky was when I was offered a safe shelter to live, the second time though was when I realized that I had found a family in there. I will forever be grateful to Streha for believing in me, in a moment when I had lost faith in myself
Our funding enabled Streha to expand their services and establish a shelter that is able to host 10 LGBTI people for up to six months. These people may be older than 25 years old or cannot be supported through the existing shelter because of the limited capacity. Streha helped these people get access to relevant information, provided vocational training, discovered employment opportunities, and assisted them with access to social benefits and housing. The project also strengthened and consolidated existing programs such as providing care, support, and advocacy.
- 13 LGBTI homeless people were hosted in the expanded shelter facility so far;
- A community support mechanism has been establised in support of the shelter;
- Support and assistance for at risk homeless LGBTI youth outside the shelter was provided, including services such as:
– Financial support with rent;
– Vocational training;
– Medical assistance;
– Humanitarian assistance;
– Psychosocial counseling;
– Employment negotiations;
– School enrollment and school books;
– Assistance with healthcare institutions;
– Social and legal support.
- Another 23 LGBTIs benefited from this support program.