Press Release: Rainbow Street Receives Grant from Monette-Horwitz Trust


February 20, 2018


Clara Hill

Rainbow Street Receives Grant from Monette-Horwitz Trust for Combatting Global Homophobia and Transphobia

Berkeley, CA – Rainbow Street is pleased to announce it has received a $2,500 grant from the Monette-Horwitz Trust. These funds will support the organization’s Direct Aid program in Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia.

Rainbow Street’s Direct Aid program provides regular cash stipends to alleviate the challenges of homelessness, food insecurity, and other barriers to dignity and self-determination experienced by local LGBT community members as a result of homophobia and transphobia. Beyond providing financial support, Rainbow Street partners with teams of local case managers to connect clients to options for their long-term security and wellbeing, including options for permanent resettlement in safe countries.

The Direct Aid program is funded by charitable donations by individuals in the United States and Europe, as well as by US granting organizations. Support from the Monette-Horwitz Trust will equip Rainbow Street to more readily respond to the foundational needs of local LGBT communities throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

“Familial, societal, and state-driven homophobia and transphobia throughout the MENA region have a devastating effect on the ability of queer and trans individuals to maintain their rights, dignity, and autonomy,” said Kevin Steen, Rainbow Streets Founder and Director. “These dynamics make local efforts to openly organize and advocate for LGBT rights exceptionally challenging and risky. Today’s grant characterizes a welcome trend of US organizations teaming up to support our queer and trans counterparts abroad. Rainbow Street is thrilled and honored to facilitate that support.”

The Monette-Horwitz Trust provides annual awards to people and organizations of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations who, through their work, make significant contributions to eradicating homophobia and transphobia. Rainbow Street joins a distinguished group of past awardees that include the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Leslie Feinberg, Gavin Grimm, The ACT-UP Oral History Project, and many more. Fellow 2018 awardees are: History Unerased, Out for Health, Tergo, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

About Rainbow Street

Founded in 2014, Rainbow Street partners with local activists and care providers to develop immediate and long-term solutions for queer and trans communities in the Middle East and North Africa who experience systemic persecution and disenfranchisement due to perceived sexual orientation and gender expression. Rainbow Street’s Direct Aid program has assisted 7 individuals from the MENA region to resettle permanently in safe countries and is currently sustaining 7 others while they await resettlement through UN channels. Rainbow Street also organizes community programming and referrals to local LGBT-competent care providers to meet the psychosocial needs of local community members.

To view the press release, click here.