Transgender cooperative “Rye House” seeking funding from public

Residents at a house in Minneapolis that provides assistance and a safe place to gather for transgender youth are turning to the public for help with funding.

Located in Ventura Village in Minneapolis, the Rye house is a cooperative home that provides transgender youth with housing and a safe place to gather, according to a GoFundMe page for the house.

Residents of the Rye house have until April to vacate the home that’s owned by a Catholic organization called Call to Action.

Call to Action tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they informed residents of Rye house in December that they would need to vacate in April. At that time, they offered to sell the house to current residents by Feb. 1 or at a later date for the market price.

The GoFundMe for Rye house aims to raise $25,000 to buy the home and maintain the mortgage. As of Friday afternoon, the fundraiser had raised $3,434.

Lauren Barbato, a spokesperson for Call to Action, said they officially posted an eviction notice on Feb. 3 but informed residents they wouldn’t dislodge them until at least April. Barbato added that Call to Action was “absolutely clear and adamant that we were not evicting people in the middle of winter.”

Barbato said that Call to Action doesn’t see the Rye house residents buying the house as a possibility or reality because they failed to fundraise the money over the last year.

According to the GoFundMe, residents are hoping to classify the Rye house as an LLC and eventually a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The GoFundMe says they are in the process of filing those documents.

“This decision was not made lightly and it is not out of the blue. We did not anticipate the staffing and logistical costs when purchasing this house and developing our vision,” said Barbato, “As a progressive Catholic community, we also cannot be in relationship with a community that does not reciprocate our values or principles.”

Barbato noted that a second eviction notice had to be filed because the initial Feb. 3 notice included a bureaucratic error made by lawyers.

According to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on LGBTQ+ suicide prevention, homelessness is reported at much higher rates among transgender and nonbinary youth. Nonbinary youth comprise 31% of currently homeless youth.

The GoFundMe page can be accessed here.