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© Andrew Caryl Photography


Founded by a group of individuals working with folks who are unhoused, the idea of Project Rainbow was born in an office after a particularly heartbreaking meeting with an Appalachian trans woman who was unsheltered and having difficulty accessing the existing spaces for those seeking shelter. Our founding members learned that even in spaces that had leadership committed to inclusivity, these spaces were not safe for our LGBTQ+ family. This woman’s experiences prompted us to consider other individuals who shared similar experiences. Thus, Project Rainbow was born in October of 2022. We worked tirelessly to open The Rainbow House and accept our first guests in July 2023. The Rainbow House is an emergency shelter that serves as a safe place for unhoused LGBTQ+ individuals to utilize on their journey toward permanent housing solutions. Project Rainbow has expanded from its founding members to a diverse Board of Directors with lived experience, professional experience, and compassion for those we serve. The woman who inspired the project by sharing her experiences with our founding members is now a Project Rainbow Board of Directors member. Through fundraising efforts, Project Rainbow has been able to lease, renovate, and open The Rainbow House, West Virginia’s first LGBTQ+ shelter, which opened in the Summer of 2023. We are eagerly awaiting our first grant funding round this summer. We hope to apply and obtain more grant funding to expand our services into Housing Programs and other work to continue ending homelessness in our state.

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