News

‘Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’ create Atlanta haven for homeless LGBTQ youth

Lost-n-found1Rick Westrook remembers the day he tried to find a place in Atlanta for a homeless teenager to stay overnight. He’ll never forget being turned away by homeless shelters.

Westbrook and two other gay activists took matters into their own hands.

In 2011, they created a grassroots organization to shelter LGBTQ kids.

The organization, called Lost-N-Found, now includes a drop-in center to assist kids with clothing, hot meals, hygiene and other supplies, and to provide referrals for housing, jobs, education and other services.

It also runs a thrift store to raise funds. The store provides clothing for homeless youth and offers them job training.

Westbrook, the executive director of Lost-N-Found, has been active in LGBTQ causes for more than 15 years.

He founded the Atlanta branch of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an advocacy group that originated in San Francisco in the 1970s. It uses irreverent wit to expose homophobia and to celebrate the spirit of its members.

“Sisters” in Atlanta stepped forward to help create Lost-N-Found, bringing their flair and unique style to the mix.

They began by putting kids up in a hotel. Then they rented a house.  It was meant to be only for three to five nights until other social service agencies could help the teens. But it was difficult to get help from agencies and it took time, Westbrook said. As a result, Lost-N-Found became a 90-day program.

Sixty percent of the youth served are lesbians, he said.

Based on a survey done by Lost-N-Found, he believes about 30 percent of them are kids who were in foster care.

“We’re best at helping those who haven’t been on the streets that long,” he said.

“They face such abuse.”

A monthly Atlanta fundraiser for the organization is the Big Gay Game Show, which features spoofs on television game shows such as Let’s Make a Deal and the Newlywed Game.

Lost-N-Found was named Humanitarian of the Year by the local branch of the Human Rights Campaign.

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top