credit: Matailong Du

Casa Ruby, an LGBTQ youth community center and shelter in Washington, D.C., fell victim to a hate crime last month. The perpetrator was a familiar face at Casa Ruby, and on the afternoon of March 12, he assaulted a staff member, threw a brick, shattered the glass door and threatened to return and kill someone. He began yelling at a staff member before verbally and physically assaulting her. This was the third act of violence toward the center in two weeks. “Homeless people face so much violence in D.C. because in many cases people see them as disposable. You learn to pick up the pieces and move on. [Casa Ruby] has moved on,” said Ruby Corado, a Salvadoran transgender woman, LGBTQ advocate in Washington, D.C., and founder and executive director of the shelter for vulnerable youth. “I have been homeless before and people saw me as something of little significance. When you are seen like that, in order to survive, you learn to leave the pieces behind. The broken glass, the ripped clothes, the scars you shed that off and you move on, that is what we did.” The assailant was arrested and charged the very next day. When Street Sense went to press, a GoFundMe started by community members to benefit Casa Ruby had raised over $14,300.