There is certain vulnerability with LGBT youth and the complex needs of this population, but three years ago El Rescate Independent Living Program opened its doors to address some of those needs. As the first LGBT program of its kind in the Midwest and working with a limited budget, it’s doors opened. There were some obstacles to overcome but as the program moved forward from its infancy, El Rescate has been getting a lot of attention and recognition for the work it does. It also has become the focal point for many caring individuals such as Norman Belmont’s, who has stepped up to celebrate and acknowledge these youth.
Belmont, together with a group of his network friends, held a fundraiser for the residents of El Rescate. As Christmas was approaching, they felt it was the perfect time to celebrate the holidays together with the youth of El Rescate.
The fundraiser was held on December 18th at Antronio’s Bar in Berwyn Illinois, a gay bar that caters to the Latino gay community of Berwyn/Cicero.
Belmont also made arrangements to a have a limo pick up all the residents at El Rescate, take them to Antronio’s and drive the youth back home. Owner of Demarco Limousine service Sr. Jose Urbina made this service possible. He made sure that they had a great time in the limo as well as making sure they got home safely.
Upon arriving at Antonio’s, all the residents were greeted with a Buffet of delicious food, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages provided by the bar.
Later that evening, Drag Queens and other performers put on fantastic show in honor of El Rescate. Following the performances, several residents shared their testimonials and expressed their gratitude for all that was provided for them that evening. There were boxes upon boxes of clothing, toiletries, bedding, food, and winter gear collected by Belmont and given to the residents. The party when on to the wee hours of the morning as the residents danced, shot some pool, and mingled with the others in attendance. They were very excited and appreciative for all that was provided for them that evening. One resident, looking very pensive and emotional, stated that although he has no family tonight, he embraced and accepted all the residents and staff as his family.