The Outside Project: Providing LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces and Support

Part one of a blog series on LGBTQ+ Homelessness

The Outside Project: Providing LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces and Support


In 2022, Tai Pawb, alongside Trans Aid Cymru and Dr Neil Turnbull (Cardiff University), delivered research commissioned by all five Gwent local authorities to understand LGBTQ+ experiences of homelessness in Gwent.

The research took into consideration the ‘Out on the Streets’ (2019) report by End Youth Homelessness Cymru reveals that the proportion of LGBTQ+ youth in the homeless population in Wales is estimated to be between 9% and 24% based on 2017/18 data from Llamau (likely undercounted) and a UK survey by the Albert Kennedy Trust. This aligns with academic estimates of LGBT in the homeless population, ranging from 25% to 40%. Even the lowest estimate (9%) indicates a significant over representation of LGBT among the homeless, compared to the 3% of the overall LGB population in Wales according to ONS statistics.

The research also identified good practice from throughout the UK, and starting with the Outside Project, this series of blogs will highlight the art of the possible with regards to breaking down barriers.

The Outside Project logo, which consists of a black and circle with many layers and a black ribbon running through it, and their name around the outsideThe Outside Project, a London-based charity is dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. They work to address the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, ensuring they have access to safe and affirming spaces, while building a sense of community.

The Outside Project offers accommodation that is safe, supportive, and LGBTQ+ specific. Providing an environment where individuals can be themselves without judgement. This inclusive approach fosters community building and social activities, empowering residents to reconnect with their support network and feel a sense of belonging.

“The project was set up really to offer LGBT+ rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping, a safe space to stay particularly over the winter, which is our main focus of the work but we do try and run all year round services at the moment and we also have a community centre where we run lots of groups and other community groups operate from the same building, so it’s really about connecting people to their community and not just looking at housing as an individual issue but framed in an organisation, so it’s really community led, connecting people back into their own community.” – Homelessness and LGBTQ+ people in Gwent Report, Tai Pawb (2022)

The Outside Project’s journey began as a grassroots response to the gaps in LGBTQ+ individuals accessing services. Their crisis night shelter and domestic abuse refuge have been instrumental in supporting survivors. Alongside these services, the organisation hosts community-building activities, such as the weekly ‘Café Queero’ social coffee morning.

Bridging the gap in support services, providing a safe haven and ensuring that LGBTQ+ people navigate the system successfully is an essential part of their work. The organisation has dedicated staff with lived experience from the LGBTQ+ community, further enhancing their understanding and support.

Over time they’ve learned success lies in having staff with a strong connection to the LGBTQ+ community. Their first-hand experiences and cultural competence allow them to better understand and support the unique needs of the individuals they serve. By maintaining this ethos, The Outside Project ensures a welcoming and safe environment for all.

“It’s important that it feels safe and to do that it needs to be like a protected space where they [LGBTQ+ people] are not going to experience homophobia or transphobia.” – Homelessness and LGBTQ+ people in Gwent Report, Tai Pawb (2022)



Outside Project’s commitment to providing safe spaces, support services, and community-buil


ding initiatives has positively impacted countless lives and shows us what’s possible when it comes to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals facing homelessness. When it comes to housing and homelessness in Wales, lets follow this lead and continue to create a more inclusive, accepting, and supportive environment where everyone has a chance to rebuild their lives with dignity and respect. It’s time to make a positive change!

A headshot portrait picture of Rob Milligan, Funding and Partnerships Manager at Tai Pawb

In the next blog of this series we will highlight some of the amazing work going on in Ty Pride, a supported accommodation project for young LGBTQ+ folks in Denbighshire delivered by Llamau, Viva and the local authority.




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