Brussels to open first refuge for LGBT's

The city of Brussels is to open a shelter home to help youngsters who are no longer welcome at their home, because of their sexual preferences or gender identity. The news was announced late on Friday, on the eve of the Belgian Pride, and will be the first of its kind in Belgium.

The spokesman for the so-called "Refuge", Dimitri Verdonck, told reporters that up to four youngsters can be accommodated in a flat in a first phase. "We see that the Rainbow House, an umbrella organisation for the Brussels LGBT community, is receiving a request for help at least once a week. The people in trouble were left in the cold by their families. Their family does not accept that they are different", Verdonck says. When this happens, young people are particularly vulnerable because they lack proper lodgings.

Brussels is granting subsidies worth 50,000 euros. The people will be accommodated in a flat, and there should be up to 10 places by the end of the year. The project was inspired by the similar French "Refuge" model, initiated in 2003.