On Saturday December 14 a special Christmas concert will take place in support of homeless LGBTQI+ youth. Dutch LGBTQI+ organization COC joins forces with the Salvation Army and social care organistion HVO Queriod to organize this concert. With this event they want to draw attention to the plight of homeless LGBTQI+ youngsters. Before the concert people will get together at the Homomonoment at 7PM to sing together. At 8PM the concert will start at the Westerkerk next-door.
What to expect for this (pre) Christmas concert
During the concert many artists and musicians from the LGBTQI+ community and the Salvation Army will perform. When the crowd is singing together at the Homomonument the Salvation Army brass band will acompany the crowd. During the concert the preacher for the LGBTQI+ community, Willie Elhorst, will tell a story which will connect the individual performances by the artists.
The situation of homeless LGBTQ+ youth
Around 600 young people in Amsterdam and around 3000 kids between 13 and 18 years old in The Netherlands are homeless. Recent research has found out, that this group of young people stay out of reach of the existing care for homeless people. Most of these young people become homeless after their coming-out as an LBTQI+ person. This often leads to conflicts at home and in many cases leads to them being expelled from home. In other cases they need to run away from home.
A call to action and a call for funds
The partners organization don’t want to just draw attention to the issue of homeless young people. They also want to work on solutions by working together. Margo Merts of the Salvation Army: “By working together with the COC we can reach this group of young people. In the past it was difficult for us to reach them. These young people often do not trust welfare organizations and try to solve their problems by themselves. This is how they become isolated, skip going to school and get into poverty and get isolated. In such circumstances prostitution and addiction can become attractive options. It therefore important to them out of this situation as quick as possible. But lack of funds stop us from just doing that.”
COC president Astrid Oosenbrug stresses the responsibility of the wider LGBTQI+ community for these young people. “Being in contact with likeminded people gives these young people support, strength and self confidence. That can restore their faith in society. That is why the COC wants to connect our LGBTQI+ community with these homeless young people, for example with a buddy project. Together with the Salvation Army and HVO Querido we have to think about ways we can help the young homeless LGBTQI+ in the best way and how to get funds to finance this work.”
This concert is the first step to creating a solution. The man behind this event is Hans Verhoeven. “The main goal of this concert is to draw attention to the issue. And it is also marks the start of a unique collaboration between these three organizations. The money we collect with the concert is the drop in the (financial) bucket. The real solution is for the government to step in and mark specific funds for these young homeless LGBTQI+ people.”
The free event where everybody sings together start at 7PM at the Homomonument (behind the Westerkerk). The Westerkerk church will open at 7.45PM and the concert starts at 8PM (adres Prinsengracht 279b).
Tickets are €17,50 (+€1,- fee) and can be bought on this website. When you buy your tickets you can also add an extra amount of money as a donation. You can of course also make just a donation if you can’t make it on the 14th of December.