Partnering with Freddie Mac for Homeward Central Harlem Video

August 14, 2023

Homeward NYC partnered with Freddie Mac Multifamily and KeyBank to finance the construction of our newest LGBTQ-affirming supportive housing site, Homeward Central Harlem. Thank you to all of our finance partners!

Check out this video from Freddie Mac Multifamily featuring Homeward NYC residents and staff:

We are now accepting applications for Homeward Central Harlem. Learn more.

New York City has long served as a beacon for the LGBTQ community, drawing young people from across the globe—many of whom leave home in search of a sense of community and acceptance. Without the support of their families, however, these young people face a higher risk of homelessness.

“They are often put out of their household due to their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Jeannette Ruffins, CEO of Homeward NYC. “When your family tells you that who you are is fundamentally wrong, it fractures your sense of self and safety. They become homeless younger, and they are often homeless longer.”

With 40% of the city’s homeless youth identifying as LGBTQ, the city has a clear and immediate need for safe, affordable housing with services designed to support LGBTQ youth.

Homeward Central Harlem’s 50 units of supportive housing are available to very low-income young adults ages 18 to 25 who identify as LGBTQ and earn less than 50% of the area median income.

“It is affordable housing with built-in support services,” Ruffins said. “What we hope is that once our young adults are in a safe and affirming space, they can start to explore what they want for the future.”

Beyond affordability, the new Homeward Central Harlem development will offer wraparound support services designed to meet the specific needs of LGBTQ youth. On-site counselors will help residents navigate life on their own and gain critical life skills, from cooking to job training.

Just 2.5 miles from Manhattan’s central business district, Harlem is home to the city’s largest LGBTQ community and is centrally located to a wide range of social services and public transportation. With the benefit of a safe and stable place to call home, residents will find the surrounding neighborhood provides no shortage of opportunities to continue their growth.

“They can find a career path, they maybe will return and finish their education,” Ruffins said. “They can develop new relationships that will help them move forward and create a family of choice, so that they can have a place where they can really belong.”

Freddie Mac Multifamily provided forward commitment financing to help build Homeward Central Harlem. Learn more.