Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) and LGBT Sanctuary Palm Springs (Sanctuary) have received a $25,000 grant from The Regional Access Project (RAP) Foundation in Palm Desert. This funding will fortify the collaboration between Sanctuary and D.A.P. to provide care and services for vulnerable LGBT transitional-aged youth (TAY) placed in Sanctuary’s extended foster care program for TAY ages 18-21.

This collaboration will ensure that Sanctuary residents are referred for and obtain continuous access to health care, behavioral health care, medications, and other supportive services, mitigating the high risk of poor health outcomes among LGBT TAY. Sanctuary provides single home residential placement, case management and services to assist LGBT TAY to transition to independent living.

“We are so thankful for this much needed support,” said Rob Woronoff, Sanctuary Executive Director. “The RAP Foundation has made a huge difference in our work to ensure these vibrant young people have the resources and support they need to live healthy and happy lives once they leave foster care.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with D.A.P. where our residents receive the expert healthcare that all young people deserve,” Woronoff said.

TAY is a specialized area of foster care under the California Fostering Connections to Success Act (AB 12). This legislation provided a continuum of support for transitional aged youth while they begin their journey to independence. To be eligible for extended foster care, youth must be working or in school, or both.

LGBT youth in foster care are subject to bias, discrimination, rejection and bullying as a result of their LGBT status, compounding their exposure to trauma. They are less likely than their straight peers to find a permanent home and are especially vulnerable to abuse even within the child welfare system that is supposed to protect them.

“Working with Sanctuary as it breaks barriers to bridge foster youth to independent living as adults is in line with our mission,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “This gift from the RAP Foundation will make a huge difference in our work to address the unmet needs of this vulnerable population.”

D.A.P. has been providing residents of Sanctuary with healthcare, behavioral healthcare, clinic case management, HIV/STI prevention education, support groups, job placement and transportation to D.A.P. for services since spring 2018.