LGBT+ shelters in Brazil offer a lifeline for the most vulnerable among us. Now they need your support.
For many LGBT+ people around the world, their own home or family is not a safe place. LGBT+ shelters in Brazil are a refuge for those who are most vulnerable and in need of help.
These homes, located throughout Brazil, offer shelter, food, and a welcoming environment to those in need.
But LGBT+ shelters work independently and face many struggles – and there is still a lack of financial and regulatory support for LGBT+ shelters by the Brazilian government.
You can help change this: ask the Brazilian government to take action and support LGBT+ shelters now.
To mark this year's International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) on May 17, we’re sharing stories from four shelters in different regions of Brazil.
We spoke to those who support and those who are supported, and their stories about daily life in these shelters, their challenges, their hopes for the future, and their small victories, prove the importance of offering such spaces to LGBT+ people.
Opened in 2019 in downtown Salvador, Bahia, Casa Aurora (Dawn Home) was providing comprehensive care for vulnerable LGBT+ youth facing social risks, and who have been abandoned by their families because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
About 2,500 people have been supported by Casa Aurora, through services, trainings, psychological assistance, and other services.
Due to the costs of maintaining the space and the lack of government support, Casa Aurora has no longer operated as a physical space since the end of 2021.
Watch the video to learn more about Casa Aurora and the stories of João and Oda.
Casa Miga (Friendship Home) is the first LGBT+ shelter in the northern region of Brazil, focused on LGBT+ Brazilians, refugees and immigrants who have been expelled from their homes and/or are in situations of social vulnerability.
Operating since 2018, it is a leader in sheltering LGBT+ refugees in Latin America, having already supported more than 400 LGBT+ people from countries such as Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Currently, Casa Miga has enough space to shelter up to 20 people, but needs support to continue doing this very important work.
Watch the video to learn more about Casa Miga and the stories of Andira, Karen and Maya.
Centro Mais Liberdade (More Freedom Center) is an initiative of the Mais Liberdade Association, which supports LGBT+ people who have left the prison system in the state of Mato Grosso.
The center's goal is to provide conditions for social reintegration – which begins by housing people with no family ties.
Even though it already has a physical space, Centro Mais Liberdade is not yet operating because it lacks the structure and financial support to maintain the place.
Watch the video to learn more about Centro Mais Liberdade and the stories of Monik, Rael and Sandro.
Casa Resistências (Resistances House) is part of the Lesbian Resistance Collective of Maré which, since 2016, fights for the rights of lesbian and bisexual women from favela – whether cis, trans or travesti.
The shelter is located in Complexo da Maré – one of the largest favelas in Rio de Janeiro – and is the first in Brazil with the specific focus of supporting lesbian women from a favela, who have been expelled from their homes due to lesbophobia.
Even as a new beginning for these women, Casa Resistências struggles to stand up. Its biggest dream is to be able to buy the physical space where the shelter operates, which is currently rented.
Watch the video to learn more about Casa Resistências and the stories of Dayana, Kelly, Kimberly and Paloma.
LGBT+ people are not protected in existing Brazilian public policies
The Brazilian National Social Assistance Policy (PNAS) does not include LGBT+ people as a target audience for shelters. So not only is there a lack of a public policy, there is a lack of efficient training of the entire human rights network to ensure social assistance for LGBT+ people.
We were only able to make these stories available in so many languages thanks to the incredible work of Amplifying Voices – a collaborative and volunteer community that creates and translates subtitles, an initiative of the Participatory Culture Foundation – a nonprofit whose mission is to build a more inclusive media ecosystem, where all voices are represented and heard.
New volunteers are always welcome! If you enjoy working collaboratively and are fluent, at a native level, in one or more languages, they would love your help.