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Fun. Raises Funds for LGBT Youth at Detroit’s Ruth Ellis Center

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Feb 26, 2014
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The LGBTQ youth of Ruth Ellis Center with fun.
The LGBTQ youth of Ruth Ellis Center with fun.  (Source:ruthelliscenter.org)

The Grammy award-winning band fun. launched a campaign to raise $250,000 to build a community health center for the Ruth Ellis Center, which provides housing, meals, clothing and medical services for LGBT youth in need in Detroit. Funds will be raised through its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) support organization, The Ally Coalition (TAC).

"The homelessness problem among LGBTQ youth in this country is nothing short of an epidemic, and the city of Detroit is in particular need of support right now. This campaign will be The Ally Coalition’s primary focus until the project is fully funded," said TAC co-founders Rachel Antonoff, Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost, and Nate Ruess.

While LGBTQ youth comprise 5-7 percent of the general population, they represent up to 40 percent of the overall homeless youth population. These vulnerable youth are also far more likely than straight peers to be victims of depression, violence, bullying and suicide.

Members of the band fun. include singer Nate Ruess, guitarist Jack Antonoff and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Dost, who is from Detroit. In 2012, the group released their RIAA-certified platinum album "Some Nights," which featured the chart-topping singles "We Are Young" and "Some Nights." Last year, fun. won Grammys for Song of the Year and Best New Artist. The band started The Ally Coalition with Antonoff’s sister, designer Rachel Antonoff.

Dost, a Detroit native, said, "The Ruth Ellis Center is an incredible organization, and what they’re doing in my hometown fills me with hope. It’s a place where people can get a good meal, can be among friends, and are welcome and safe no matter what."


  (Source:ruthelliscenter.org)

Throughout its last three tours, fun. has donated $1 of each ticket sold to The Ally Coalition, and TAC distributes these funds at the discretion of the band. The band has elected to use up to $50,000 of these funds to match the gifts of TAC donors to support the Ruth Ellis Center’s capital campaign.

"As the Ruth Ellis Center prepares to celebrate fifteen years providing residential safe space and services for runaway, homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan, this pledge of support for our community health center could not come at a better time," said Jerry Peterson, Executive Director of the Ruth Ellis Center.

"We are thrilled to have fun. and The Ally Coalition join us in our efforts combating LGBTQ youth homelessness in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan, especially with Andrew Dost’s personal connection as a Detroit native," he continued. "Fun. and The Ally Coalition’s using their broad reach and influence to impact the communities that need it the most sends a message to millions that we all need to do our part to provide services to our youth and work to prevent LGBTQ youth homelessness."

The Ruth Ellis Center (REC) provides a comprehensive, one-stop array of services for homeless and runaway LGBTQ youth in Detroit/Highland Park, MI.


For more information go to www.ruthelliscenter.org To support the campaign, please visit www.theallycoalition.org/detroit.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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