by Robert Moore
Many people around the country are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving a week from this Thursday. They are cleaning their houses, inviting family and friends over, washing up their best china, and going shopping for all the food for their feast. As all this is happening, I cannot help but think about the hundreds of LGBT young adults who are also getting ready for Thanksgiving; they are cleaning their dorm rooms, washing their clothes to pack, saying goodbye to their friends, they are praying that this Thanksgiving is better than the one before, and they are mentally preparing to go back in the closet for the long weekend at home.
What really makes me thankful about all that I have is when I think about the thousands of youth across the country who also preparing for Thanksgiving just like they do every other day: they are trying to find warmer clothes, trying to find clothes that are not dirty or have holes in them, they are looking for change on the ground or from strangers passing by on the sidewalk, they are searching the garbage cans and dumpsters for their next meal, and they are searching the neighborhoods for a safe alcove or park where they can sleep tonight.
In late January of this year, ABC’s 20/20 did a report on homeless youth. They reported that there are nearly two million homeless youth in America. In San Francisco alone, social workers see some 6,000 cases of homeless teens a year. They barely report about the estimated 40% of homeless youth who identify are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT). Of the four youth profiled in the episode, three of them lived in Oregon, one in San Francisco, one was LGBT: June, who was biologically a boy but identified as a girl. She risked life on the streets to avoid bullying by her brothers at home. Watch Here.
This holiday season I challenge every Affirmation chapter, group, and member: if you are able, please do what you can to help make life a little easier and brighter for homeless youth in your area. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, church or homeless shelter to serve meals, you can take plates of food out to a park or area where homeless youth hang out in your city, you can donate some warm clothes to a homeless shelter (it may sound small but new tube or wool socks are the best thing in the world when you are homeless) or you can even make a donation to the work that your local shelter, church or outreach program is doing to help these youth who have
No Home For The Holidays.