A Farewell Letter From Rick Westbrook, Former Executive Director of Lost-N-Found Youth

The following letter was sent to Georgia Voice for us to post on Mr. Westbrook’s behalf:

Lost-n-Found was started to meet a need that was not being met. Six and a half years ago, me, Art Izzard, and Paul Swicord came together and made a promise to the community: If you support us, we will do everything possible to make a difference for the homeless LGBTQ youth. 

We started that night and never stopped. We had no idea the magnitude of the the problem and each year, it grew and so did our organization with new deliverables to support. Lost-n-Found was a success from the start because the community got behind it and stayed there.

I am just an simple gay man with a lot of friends and even more over the past years who stepped up when asked. There have been a lot incredibly happy accomplishments as well as tragically sad points over that time and I would do it all over again, knowing that I always have my community to back me up. 

When things got bad, our community ALWAYS stepped up. I never had to worry about paying the bills because ALL of you made it happen.

Last night, I tendered my resignation not because the problem is over  far from it. The Board and I simply did not agree on the way to move forward, plain and simple. Financially, I left them in good shape and they promised to continue staying true to the mission.

This does not mean I am done helping our homeless youth; it simply means that I will lend my talents and expertise in other ways or in a different position. I am going to spend some much-needed rest with my incredible partner, (soon to be husband) and extended family. Then, it will be time to step it up even more because the problem is growing at an immeasurable rate. I will keep you posted on where I land and how you can help. I know you will as you have always done.

To our kids out there: Please know that you ARE loved, have value, are incredible just as you are, and that you are meant to be on this earth living your true, authentic life.

Be Back Soon,
Mama Rick // aka Rick Westbrook