Maison de Jon Gathercole
Bright Star Foundation’s LGBTQIA+ Inclusive, Affordable Housing
Claude Raffin and The Estate of Jon Gathercole donated two newly renovated apartment buildings in Las Vegas in what was described as being monumental by Dr. Ray Macfarlane, Bright Star Foundation (BSF) Executive Director, who stated: “We have begun moving people into the first LGBTQIA+ housing in Las Vegas. We have made history in Jon's name. We have taken Las Vegas from a small town where displaced people can only hope for the kindness that we show each other by taking each other in, to a real cosmopolitan city with services and affordable, inclusive housing for the LGBTQIA+ community”.
The BSF directors updated the BSF mission to remove the age restriction on assistance and instead focus on vulnerable populations within the LGBTQIA+ community, namely youth, seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, trans-persons and others at risk. Already, rooms are filling up.
We have been able to assist LGBTQIA+ seniors and people with disabilities who are on fixed or low incomes who are not able to afford a place of their own, families who are barely able to stay afloat paying for expensive monthlies because they haven’t been able to come up with deposits, people fleeing abuse from family or harassment from homo/transphobic patrons at other organizations, young couples who only have each other and would have to separate in order to access shelter systems, and people who had been left stranded without identifying documentation or access to resources.
This is a huge first step! However, with only seventeen units, we have a long way to go! Help us to build, and to support the important work we are doing to house vulnerable LGBTQIA+ people, and to support homeless youth. We still have upcoming costs for final renovation work, and need help raising money to assist people into housing, to do outreach, and to repatriate homeless LGBTQIA+ youth.
“Thank you all for your support and being part of a family that takes care of each other so that we can all thrive. There is so much good happening. I have been incredibly busy also incredibly proud… of the work, of Bright Star, of the community, and each of these individuals taking steps to take control back in their lives.”
-Dr Ray Macfarlane