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Lost-n-Found

Lost-n-Found Youth, Inc. is an Atlanta-based nonprofit corporation whose mission is to take homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths off the street and transition them into more permanent housing arrangements. We operate a 24/7 hotline at (678) 8-Lost-25 as well as a 6-bed housing facility in Atlanta, Georgia.

We are the only organization actively taking Atlanta's LGBT homeless youth directly off the streets.

We endeavor to challenge the area's significant homeless LGBT youth problem in many ways. Some of our primary services include:

  • Answer phone, texts, and emails from LGBT homeless youth 24/7;
  • Meet face-to-face and ensure these youths have a roof over their head, clothes on their backs, and food in their bodies;
  • Have the youths evaluated by a mental health professional;
  • Test the youths for HIV and other STDs, and if they need additional medical attention, connect them to agencies that can help;
  • Help obtain lost or stolen birth certificates, driver's licenses or state ID cards; and
  • Offer to set them up with GED training/testing, if need be.

Once all this is completed, and we feel they are stable, we begin the process of helping them into more permanent housing situations, including our 6-bedroom house, if space is available. At the house, the process to find the youth a place as a productive, healthy member of society continues.


How we started

Lost-n-Found is the outgrowth of Saint Lost and Found, an LGBT homeless youth fund project of the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Founded by Rick Westbrook, Art Izzard, and Paul Swicord after each of them experienced being turned away when attempting to place queer youth into local shelters and youth aid programs, the three resolved that something needed to be done to address the immediate need.

They called a public LGBT town hall meeting and invited these local homeless youth support agencies to express outrage and determine what resources existed. The meeting made clear that no organization was specifically actively working to take LGBT homeless youth off the street. Rick, Art, Paul and others assembled in November with the support of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to establish a privately funded emergency shelter, and the Saint Lost and Found project (now Lost-n-Found Youth, Inc.) was born.

Funding

Initially Lost-n-Found Youth, Inc. utilized the visibility and community goodwill of the Sisters to fundraise while we have worked to establish ourselves. The relationship between the two organizations will continue even as Lost-n-Found Youth, Inc. has formally become a distinct legal entity.

We strongly believe in maintaining independence from state funding to free ourselves from the red tape and regulation that comes with government grants. We hope to continue to be privately funded though donations and private grants for the foreseeable future.

For more information on helping our cause with your tax-deductible donation, please see How You Can Help.

Volunteer-run, not-for-profit structure

Lost-n-Found Youth is seeking to continue our existence a mostly volunteer-run organization. We offer rent-free living to our resident case manager who manages and lives with the youth in the house. Otherwise, Lost-n-Found is composed of 5 volunteer board members and a steering committee of roughly a dozen others who give our time, energy, and money as needed to run the mission and operations of the organization, fundraise, and manage community relations.

Need Help?

If you are an LGBT youth aged 18-25 who is homeless or facing imminent homelessness, or if you know someone who is, please contact us at
(678) 8-LOST-25 or (678) 856-7825. We answer this line 24/7.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LOST N FOUND PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE: http://www.lost-n-found.org/