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Grant brings hope to homeless LGBTQ+ youth


The Gay Community Endowment Fund recently received a heartfelt thank you note from Rebecca Callahan, executive director of CANAPI, for a grant GCEF awarded to provide housing support to homeless LGBTQ+ youth:

Good morning,

I want to take a moment to share with you an email we received, as the help CANAPI was able to provide was made possible due to the support of your offices/organization. I am thankful to the Summit County Executive's Office, City of Akron Mayor's Office, and the Gay Community Endowment Fund for your dedicated service to the community.

By choosing a profession or volunteerism serving the community, our work is not always easy. We seem to continually face challenges at both the macro and micro level. And at times, I do get caught up focusing on minimizing barriers and eliminating challenges to the mission I serve. I sometimes forget to take time to stop and recognize the positive impact CANAPI has on our community.

Our successes would not be possible without the support you provide. The below email was sent yesterday to our outreach specialist from a 19-year-old trans youth experiencing homelessness. We were able to help this young man and feel confident Akron law will protect his housing rights. I share this with you in the hopes, like me, you will take a moment to know you are improving the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals in Akron and Summit County. The work you do matters and is appreciated.

I can't express in words how much I appreciate all the work you and everyone at CANAPI have put into helping me get my life back on track. I'm not very good at expressing emotion outwardly, so I'm sure it wasn't tremendously evident how I was feeling yesterday. But I want everyone there to know that you all have lifted an enormous weight off my shoulders and proven to me that I made the right choice to hang on and push forward, even when all I wanted was to give up.

I am living proof that your organization saves lives. Without all your help, I would be alone on the streets or worse. But now I'm looking at having a real home for the first time in nearly a year in just one month's time, and I don't have to worry about where I'll stay during that month. A place to put my grandfather's handmade furniture to use; a place to sit at the dining table given to my grandparents on their wedding day and passed down through my family; a place to rebuild my studio space so I can get back to my passion of creating; a place to invite friends to stay and let me cook for them; a safe place to begin my medical transition and enjoy growing into my proper body and see myself become, on the outside, the man I know I am on the inside.

CANAPI has given me my life back. And I hope you all know that even when all is said and done and I'm in my new apartment, you'll all still be seeing a lot of me because I'll be volunteering to help you guys every single chance I get. It's the absolute least I could do as thanks for giving me hope and for caring about me as much as you all have.

Thank you so much for everything you've done and continue to do for me.

With gratitude,

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