Israel to open first LGBT shelter for Arab youth

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02/05/2022

Israel is set to open its first shelter designated for LGBT Arab Israeli youth, in a move hailed as “historic” by one of the lawmakers who led the initiative. The Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry, which recently announced the decision, also said that it would open two additional housing centers for LGBT Arab adults in the northern port city of Haifa. Arab youth in need of emergency housing have until now turned toward LGBT shelters run by Jewish Israelis; however, many do not have Arabic-speaking social workers or staff on hand. Knesset Member Ibtisam Mara’ana (Labor), who pushed for the youth center, said that she decided to do so after speaking to members of the LGBT Arab community and asking them where they felt their needs were not being met.

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