The first LGBT Shelter opened in Tirana

Published: December 11, 2014

Erjon Tela
Original Article:

The first residential shelter for LGBTI who are left homeless, suffer domestic violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, or live in a non safe environment was open in Tirana, marking a milestone for the human rights movement in Albania. Through this temporary housing, beneficiaries will be offered different services including life skills training, vocational training opportunities and psycho-social support.

Two Albanian organizations, “Aleanca LGBT” and “ProLGBT”, have come together in their efforts to offer this unique service. Streha, meaning “the Shelter”, is the first shelter for LGBT individuals in the Balkan region and one of the first in Eastern Europe.

Upon opening, Streha was visited by the Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Mr. Erion Veliaj; the British Ambassador in Tirana, Mr. Nicholas Cannon OBE; Deputy chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Tirana, Mr. Henry V. Jardine; Program Director at USAID/Albania, Ms. Clare Masson; Executive Director of State Agency for Supporting Civil Society organizations, Mr. Andi Kananaj; and Executive Director of Assist Impact, Mrs. Matty Timm.

Xheni Karaj and Kristi Pinderi guided the guests through the newly renovated facilities of the shelter and shared with them the challenges this service might face.

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