On Feb. 19, the Big Gay Game Show hosted its Valentine’s edition of the wacky event that highlights such favorites...
Lost-N-Found Youth, a metro Atlanta helping LGBT homeless youth get immediately off the streets, plans to open a drop-in center on Dec. 2.
The drop-in center will be located within the 13,000 square feet of space that houses the organization's newly opened thrift and consignment store located at 2585 Chantilly Drive, Atlanta, near Cheshire Bridge Road and Interstate 85 in Midtown, said Rick Westbrook, executive director of Lost-N-Found Youth.
The non-profit organization is also set to open a new shelter in Midtown:
Just announced our 20-year lease for a new transitional home and drop-in center in midtown. Thanks to St. Marks for making this a reality.— Lost-n-Found Youth (@LostNFoundYouth) November 21, 2013
Lost-N-Found Youth, a volunteer-led organization founded two years ago, is hoping the thrift store will bring in approximately $100,000 annually. The group's annual budget is currently $100,000 funded 80 percent by individual donations.
Lost-N-Found Youth, an Atlanta-based homeless LGBT youth outreach organization, is trying to help finance a green card for a 19-year-old Jamaican immigrant through a crowd-sourced fundraising website.
The girl, who is unnamed in the campaign, has been in the United States since she was six years old. Lost-N-Found says her family members here have green cards but refuse to support her because of her sexual orientation.
From the CrowdWise page:
In late March, the stakeholders of the Phillip Rush Center, Atlanta's LGBT community center, announced a plan to expand its current space by some 1,700 square feet. In the two months since, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised, according to Georgia Equality's Jeff Graham.
“It's our second expansion and we hope that the community will continue to support us to ensure there is a safe, accessible LGBT space here in Atlanta,” Graham told GA Voice.
Georgia Equality and the Health Initiative are jointly responsible for the space where several local LGBTQ nonprofits are based.
Lost-n-Found Youth hopes to raise $1 million by October 2014 to meet the needs of hundreds of Atlanta homeless LGBT youth seeking permanent housing.
The capital campaign was announced May 17 at Jungle. The club’s dance floor, typically filled with shirtless men dancing to popular DJs, was instead covered with trash, makeshift shelters and a snack table with garbage can lids used to hold the food as a way to show attendees how homeless people live.
Along one wall were large pieces of cardboard explaining the needs to meet in the next year to help more LGBT homeless. Those needs include opening a thrift store that would bring in a constant source of income, a drop in center and, eventually, a new transitional living center.
Team Friendly Atlanta, a group dedicated to reducing HIV stigma, held its launch party and a fundraiser at Jungle on Saturday, March 16. Participants bid to get people "dirty" and then bid to clean them off. And it was a sexy night for many of the guys, and two women, who were willing to auctioned off for charity. Those who were auctioned off included HIV activist and former Mr. Atlanta Eagle Chandler Bearden, Mark Gordon aka DJ Diablo Rojo, porn star Charlie Harding, aerialist Melissa Coffey, SirBen and Joeboy, leatherboy Dana Prosser and Lizzy Fountain, organizer for the "Dirty Boys" calendar.
Pamm Burdett of the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation donated $1,000 to have Bearden glitterbombed — and this Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence chipped in $50 each to also have the pleasure of pouring glitter on him. It's probably safe to say he will be picking off glitter for years to come.
Team Friendly t-shirts were on sale and donations of male hygiene products were also being collected to donate to Lost-n-Found Youth, an organization that has served some 150 homeless LGBT youth in metro Atlanta. Eight of those young people have tested positive for HIV, according to Rick Westbrook, founder of Lost-n-Found.
From the nine organizations that responded to the GA Voice LGBT organization survey, several key financial themes emerge:
• Individual donations make up a smaller percentage of budgets than you might think in a community as large as ours, coming in far below 50 percent for every organization except Savannah Pride (which has a small budget of only $50,000) and the StandUp Foundation (which benefited from a major anonymous donor in 2012).
• Federal and state grants support a large portion of some health agencies’ HIV work, but no local LGBT groups receive government funding.
• Corporate sponsorships are not common, either. Even Atlanta Pride, which gets chided from some activists for being “too corporate,” gets less than half of its funding from corporate sponsorships — and a miniscule 4.7 percent from individual donations.
Survey participants included Atlanta Pride, Georgia Equality, The Health Initiative, Lost-N-Found Youth, Savannah Pride, the StandUP Foundation, AID Atlanta, Positive Impact and Someone Cares Atlanta.
The Big Gay Game Show, a monthly fundraiser for Lost-n-Found Youth, was held Dec. 19 at Jungle and featured such local celebrities as Topher Payne (who played Lindsay Lohan and 'Your Mom'), Edie Cheezburger, Ruby Redd, Chandler Bearden, Ian Aber, Rick Westbrook and Wild Cherry Sucret.
The white face, the flamboyant nun apparel, the seemingly ceaseless fundraising for various charities, especially for LGBT homeless youth — all of this, plus the outrageous fun they bring to our city, leads us to celebrate the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as our People of the Year.
Founded in 2009 by Sister Gunza Blazin (many Sisters asked their real names not be used in this story) with just a few marching in the Atlanta Pride parade that year, the chapter has grown to more than a dozen dedicated men in holy drag who seek nothing more than to “promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt.”
For the Sisters, that means to make people feel good while also doing good, whether its handing out condoms at bars or hosting fundraisers for its adopted cause, Lost-N-Found Youth.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Lost-n-Found Youth, the organization’s executive director plans to spend 48 hours on top of a box truck to raise awareness of the plight of LGBT homeless youth in Atlanta.
Rick Westbrook, executive director of Lost-n-Found Youth, plans to stay on top of the truck from the afternoon of Nov.6 until Nov. 8. He will document his experience through Facebook posts, Twitter updates and perhaps a live video stream to give a glimpse of what homeless youth experience when forced to live on the streets.
The truck will be parked next to Brushstrokes in the Ansley Square shopping center. Westbrook said he will climb aboard the truck one hour before the polls close on Election Day. He will come down for a short time to attend a town hall meeting on Nov. 7.