Atlanta HRC to honor Lost-N-Found Youth, Charis Circle at annual dinner

The Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Steering Committee will honor Lost-N-Found Youth, an all-volunteer organization working to get homeless LGBT young people off the streets, at its annual gala and dinner set for May 3 this year.

Also at the dinner, Elizabeth Anderson and Charis Circle will receive the Leon Allen and Winston Johnson Community Leadership Award.

The announcements were made Thursday at the HRC Atlanta Pre-Dinner Reception held at Ink & Elm restaurant that Lost-N-Found would receive the Humanitarian Award.

Sam Champion, the renowned gay weatherman who made the move from New York to Atlanta recently, will be presented the Visibility Award at the dinner. Lesbian comic Dana Goldberg will a special guest of the event.

Lost-N-Found was founded more than two years ago to help homeless LGBT find immediate shelter.

Since its founding, the nonprofit organization has opened a six-bedroom house and, more recently, a thrift store as well as a drop-in center for youth. Rick Westbrook, the executive director and a founder of Lost-N-Found Youth, works with a board of directors that includes Art Izzard, Paul Swicord, Laura Gentle and Jason Fasi.

Lost-N-Found is also in the midst of a $1 million fundraising campaign and renovating a house in Midtown that would have 15-20 beds for homeless LGBT youth and become the organization’s headquarters.

Elizabeth Anderson, a writer and executive director of Charis Circle, the nonprofit and educational arm of Charis Books & More, will accept the award at May’s dinner on behalf of the feminist bookstore for all its work it has done in providing educational workshops and author events, among other things. This year Charis Books celebrates its 40th anniversary and is one of the oldest feminist bookstores in the nation.

Charis Books was the first business in Georgia to publicly denounce the Georgia legislature’s anti-immigration law, HB 87, by stating it was a safe space for all people. Charis Books and Charis Circle are also in the midst of a fundraising campaign to one day open a new feminist center.

Champion was with “Good Morning America” for 25 years before deciding to join the  Weather Channel, based in Atlanta. His new show “AMHQ” debuts this month.

He recently spoke to New York Metro about his move to Atlanta:

How is it living in Atlanta?
I’m lucky because Atlanta is right at it’s stride. It’s a vibrant city that’s growing quickly and is energized and has a great feel. I tell my friends I moved to the Upper West Side in the late ’80s and to me, Atlanta is like a New York neighborhood 15 years ago. It has a very vibrant feel. The people at the coffee shop know you and the dry cleaners and grocery store are right around the corner, so it’s all within reach and it feels very much like Columbus Avenue did 15 years ago. My view now of the cityscape is of glass buildings on one side and open park on the other – Piedmont Park. Instead of Midtown and Central Park, I look at glass buildings and Piedmont Park. There’s a lot of similarities. New York is truly unique and special but Atlanta is vibrant and exciting and I see some similarities.

Check out photos from the event from Project Q by clicking here.