Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Helping Hands

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Helping Hands

Article excerpt

Craig Bowman remembers the difficulties gay and lesbian survivors faced after the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City. Gay parents and partners struggled to receive some forms of aid because they could not prove legal relationships. "We want to make sure that doesn't happen again," Bowman said shortly after his group, the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, partnered with several other gay organizations to launch the Hurricane Katrina LGBT Relief Fund in early September. "We don't want people to have difficulty receiving relief funds because they're LGBT."

The fund is part of a growing effort by gay groups to help survivors of the devastating hurricane that ravaged the Gulf Coast. In Houston support groups for gay evacuees have been meeting at the Montrose Counseling Center, which also has been placing them in a network of "safe houses"--gay-friendly homes in the region. "We want to get them out of the public] shelters as soon as we can," said Montrose executive director Ann Robinson, who heard of some gay evacuees being harassed by other shelter residents. …

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