Simon Williamson, columnist with Georgia Voice

Simon Williamson: Left outside alone

Back when I was in my early twenties, I was thrown out of my friend’s house by his father, who had undergone the experience of finding out I was gay while a trickle of blood simultaneously permeated his alcohol...
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Lost-N-Found Youth drop-in center for Atlanta homeless LGBT teens to open Dec. 2

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:

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.

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YouthPride leadership remains a puzzle one year later

YouthPride logoThe call went out in January 2012 that if YouthPride did not raise some $40,000, the youth LGBT nonprofit would be forced to close its doors. After the public plea for funds, it was discovered YouthPride did not have a five-member board of directors in violation of its bylaws and that a full board had not met since December 2010.

Now, a year later, the agency is once again sending out fundraising emails — the most recent, sent Dec. 21, has the subject line “Acceptance is a Precious Gift” — but leaders still refuse to grant interviews and either can’t or won’t list a five-member board.

After YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul made a public plea for funds in early 2012, an independent task force volunteered time to investigate the financial and leadership struggles of YouthPride and determined the agency was deep in debt and faced possible state and federal fines for not filing tax forms on time.

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[Video] Lost-n-Found shows plight of homeless youth

Placing hygiene kits at the base of tents at a homeless camp for teens, Rick Westbrook, executive director of Lost-n-Found Youth, attempts to show the seriousness of the plight of homeless youth, specifically LGBT youth.

The short video shot by Lost-n-Found Youth takes viewers on a short tour through a campsite where Westbrook says LGBT youth are living. And with cold weather on its way, he asks the community for financial support to help the young people get off the streets.

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Gay, bisexual young people at highest risk for HIV infection

Every month, 1,000 young people in the U.S. become infected with HIV. Drug and alcohol use and unprotected sex are major reasons youth are becoming infected at alarming rates, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report released this month.

In a Nov. 27 conference call with reporters, CDC leaders said more must be done to ensure youth ages 13-24 are tested for HIV as well as educated about the preventable disease.

“This is our future generation and the bottom line is every month 1,000 youth are becoming infected with HIV,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC. “The cost of care is approximately $400,000 over a person’s lifetime.