Lady GaGa, Robin Hood Team On $1 Million In Grants

In what they are hoping is a good romance, Lady Gaga and the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City are sponsoring a contest in which they will give away $1 million to five charities that benefit disconnected youth in New York City. And, they are giving away tickets to the foundation’s sold out gala where she will perform.

The contest began today, with the public voting via http://on.fb.me/GagaRobinHood .

Disconnected youth is a term that refers to young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in school or employed in the legitimate workforce. They might have had experience with the criminal justice system or have been in foster care. They aren’t getting the education, work, civic, and family support they need to be successful adults. A significant portion of these young adults are part of the LGBQT community.

“I’m thrilled to be working with the Robin Hood Foundation to distribute funds to help the youth of New York City,” said Lady Gaga. “NYC is my hometown and I think investing in these kids’ future will go a long way.”

The five charities the public will vote for are:

* SCO Family of Services , which works to strengthen family ties and connect New York City’s homeless and LGBTQ youth to support services, including counseling, health care, life skills training, career guidance and counseling.
* Lawyers for Children , which advocates on behalf of New York City youth to ensure they have access to safe housing, educational opportunities and fair and equal treatment, providing free legal and social work services and offering specialized assistance for LGBTQ youth, as well as teens aging out of the foster care system.
* The Door , which provides New York City’s disconnected youth with a safe space to learn and grow, offering a full range of medical, social, educational, recreational and legal services under one roof.* Hetrick-Martin Institute , which prepares LGBTQ youth for self-sufficiency by providing medical, education, career development, and HIV prevention services.
* Safe Horizon , which connects homeless and abused youth to support services, including housing, health care, and government entitlements.

The winning charity will be announced on May 9 during Lady Gaga’s performance at Robin Hood’s annual benefit in New York City. The winning program will receive a $500,000 grant over two-years, with the four other charities receiving smaller grants.

“As poverty-fighters, we are thrilled with Lady Gaga’s generosity to support New York City’s disconnected youth,” said David Saltzman, executive director at Robin Hood. “Right now, 4,000 New York City teens are living on the street. Some aged out of the foster care system, some ran away from abusive homes, and others were rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation. Robin Hood’s programs offer a lifeline to the city’s most vulnerable teens, helping them get off the streets and build stable lives.”

Lady Gaga fans can win tickets to her sold out performance at the organization’s annual benefit on May 9. Beginning today, Robin Hood will give away two tickets per day until May 5 to the concert via the organization’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/robinhood . The winners will be announced each day on the page.