Essex County, N.J., April 30, 2014 – On April 26th, the Essex County LGBT RAIN (Reaching Adolescents In Need) Foundation held its first annual appreciation dinner and fundraiser. The organization offers emergency shelter services to address the emergent need of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) homeless individuals between the ages of 18 to 24.
The event honored four people for their work in helping the foundation form from idea to reality. The honorees were Amir Hashemi of CCI, Councilwoman Andrea McPhatter of East Orange, Brian McGovern of NJCRI, and Elaine Helms Essex County RAIN Foundation founder.
"RAIN is doing tremendous work helping LGBT adolescents & young adults and is a great impact on East Orange and the greater Essex County community," said Councilwoman Andrea McPhatter.
Assemblyman Tim Eustace, an openly gay member of the NJ Legislature, presented resolutions from himself and on behalf of Assemblyman Caputo, Gusciora, McKeon and Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver. "I was proud to join RAIN in celebrating leaders within the LGBT community. I applaud their work and stand ready to assist them accomplish their goals for individuals in need." said Assemblyman Tim Eustace.
"This was a proud night for the organization, receiving the support not only from the community but support from political figures." said Tamara A. Fleming, board chair of Essex County LGBT RAIN Foundation. Holly Kaplansky, owner of Minuteman Press, stated, "This is a great organization doing amazing work. I'm happy to be here to support them and I admire Elaine and Tamara for doing this."
The foundation has multiple community sponsors such as the North Jersey Pride organization. C.J. Prince, executive director of North Jersey Pride, said, "We're thrilled to be a community sponsor of the LGBT RAIN Foundation dinner. This organization is working tirelessly to save our youth in crisis; to give them much needed shelter, hope, and the freedom to be just who they are."
Essex County has the highest homeless percentage in the state of New Jersey found in the report done by CSH.org. "We're excited about the recent campaign launch from the National Coalition for the Homeless, this campaign; the National Campaign for Youth Shelter will address the homeless crisis of youth in the United States, including LGBT youth. RAIN will join forces to support this movement and continue to work at bringing housing and support services to Essex County LGBT youth" said Elaine Helms.
If you would like to donate your time or money to the organization you can reach them at 732-707-RAIN (7246) or online at EssexLGBThousing.org.