Region: Detroit, Michigan
Grant duration: Three Years
Amount: $75,000

LGBT people face higher levels of homelessness, higher levels of unemployment, and lower levels of family and other economic supports, directly impacting their ability to find and keep good paying jobs- especially in states like Michigan where it is legal to deny or terminate employment because someone is LGBT or even perceived to be. The Affirmations Marketplace Program addresses these inequities and needs with a sustainable project designed to provide workforce development and entrepreneurial skills for youth ages 13-20. Programs are youth-driven, and designed to provide the youth with the training, skills and experience to start and manage their own business efforts, as well as providing actual job opportunities by working with local workforce development departments, government entities and corporate partners. Affirmations believes it is not enough to provide standard job training, but that empowering youth for self-actualization is critical by providing them with the skills to build, market, secure funding for and operate their own business plans and efforts. This allows the youth to create their own employment opportunities and economies not subject to the changing tides of local employment protections or individual employer policies.