Amazing Gays

On any given night, there are almost 2 million youth in the United States who do not have a home to sleep in.   Roughly 40% of those youth are LGBT, most of them kicked out of their homes by their parents for being gay.  These are statistics that I learned today when I attended a training meeting for a local homeless shelter, Lost N Found (also their Facebook Page).  Learning about this pulls at my heartstrings.  It is so sad to me that there are people who are sleeping in or behind dumpsters, in curbs, wherever they can find shelter from the often unpleasant weather.  I feel so privileged to have a home to live in, a bed to sleep in, and food to eat.  

I have known about this organization (Lost N Found) for a few months now--in fact, I heard about them shortly after I moved to Atlanta.  I have felt many times "I need to do something with them.  I need to get involved."  But haven't.  I did give them some money when I saw their booth at the Pride Festival in October, and I attended their fundraiser at a local bar last month.  But I haven't ever done anything to help out.  Until now.  I'm done being lazy and postponing.  I need to act.  And so I did.  Today I attended an informational meeting about the organization, in order to become a volunteer.

They said that based on statistics, they project that Atlanta has on any given night somewhere around 800 homeless LGBT youth.  I want to do all that I can to help them out.  I want to volunteer.  And I will.  When I went to the meeting today, I gained renewed resolve to help out.  I know that this is something I want to participate in.  I want to help out people who don't have a place to go, or a parental figure to look up to.  

There will be many training meetings that I will attend.  I'm excited to learn about the different ways I can help, and the things that I need to know to work well with the youth and with the program overall.  I want to make a difference in the world around me.  I want to know that I've left the community a better place than I found it.  

I've never really felt lost in my life.  Sure, I've felt like I didn't fit in from time to time.  When I'm at a party, I often don't know how to jump in the conversation.  I don't feel part of the partying.  And other similar times like that, I just feel kind of left out, but I think that's fairly minor.  I haven't ever felt really lost, or out of place--not deeply.  But I have often felt "found".  I have had several moments in my life where I've sort of had an epiphany of belonging--that I've felt like I know my "calling" in life.  And this is one of them.  I feel like I belong as a volunteer in this organization.

I blog about this because I want to raise awareness.  I want people to know how serious the problem of homelessness is in our society.  I want people to think about it and talk about it and do something about it.  Look around you and see if there is some help that you can give, some care that you can offer.  Some kindness that you can extend.