Heather with her supplies for LGBTQ youth! Photo courtesy of Heather Hausenfleck-Middleton
June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and we wanted to spotlight a kindness act performed by our Random Acts staff members that impact this community.
When Regional Representative Heather Hausenfleck-Middleton first joined Random Acts, she was eager to find an outlet to direct her kindness in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. While there are many wonderful organizations she considered working with, she decided on Lost-n-Found Youth, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ youth in Atlanta who are experiencing homelessness. Heather shared with us why she felt so strongly.
I have known many people (either personally or connected to my friend groups) over the years who have been kicked out of their homes due to their sexual or gender identities, leaving them struggling to survive. That is why I chose to help Lost and Found Youth.
Youth in Atlanta
LNFY actually originated as “Saint Lost and Found,” and was founded with support from The Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. (That is a long name for a great group of humans.) The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a self described order of queer and trans nuns with chapters all around the world. With humor, mirth, and drag, the Sisters “promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and serve the community.” From this wonderful ethos, Lost and Found Youth was born.
To better serve the LGBTQ+ youth of Atlanta, they offer a variety of services. They have a crisis support line that runs 24/7, where young people can call or text to receive help or just talk. If someone has a material need, they have a drop-in center, where youths can receive a fresh meal, clothing, shower, and help finding stability. Statistically speaking, after 48 hours, people experiencing homelessness are likely to turn to some kind of crime to help themselves get by. With that in mind, LAFY also has a Street Outreach program, with volunteers that will seek out youth experiencing homelessness to get them assistance even faster.
Providing Basic Needs
Using funding from Random Acts, Heather was able to purchase several items on LAFY’s must have list: two tents, a cold weather sleeping bag, hand warmers, five sets of thermal underwear, and several dozen items of non-perishable food. The staff was very grateful for the donated items. Heather was really pleased with the results as well!
This was my first Act with Random Acts and the feeling was honestly amazing and left me wanting to do so much more. Knowing that I was helping teenagers and young adults, who had seen such hard times and who likely felt like no one cared, I hope what I was able to do helped them know that there are those who do care, and want to support them.