ATLANTA, Aug. 27, 2014 – Lost-n-Found Youth (LNFY), Atlanta’s only Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer youth homelessness program, announced new members of its Board of Directors and election of executive officers as part of its plan for growth of its services and long-term vision to serve the LGBTQ homeless youth of Georgia.
Its newest Board members include Liliana Bakhtiari who brings storytelling experience through film, writing, and photography as part of her degree program at Georgia State University and community volunteer efforts; Bruce Garner who has more than 30 years of non-profit board experience serving LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS and faith-based organizations; and Paul Skrbec who has more than 20 years of corporate marketing and public relations experience to serve as the foundation for his role as LNFY’s Communications Director.
The team joins existing Board members and co-founder Rick Westbrook who serves as the Executive Director for LNFY, co-founders Art Izzard and Paul Swicord, Jason Fasi, Justin Ziegler, Dr. Jesse Peel, Mickyel “Micky” Bradford and Charlotte Cagle. The Board elected executive officers for the organization during its Aug. 25 meeting and will be led by Charlotte Cagle – Chair, Justin Ziegler – Vice-Chair, Jason Fasi – Secretary and Bruce Garner – Treasurer.
“In less than three years, Lost-n-Found Youth has continued to grow and expand access to services for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth to give them the support they need and keep them off the streets,” said Charlotte Cagle, Lost-n-Found Youth’s newly elected Board of Directors – Chair. “To support this growth, we’ve added a team of leaders to help move the organization forward so we can provide a better future for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Through its youth center, LNFY is able to serve youth from 13 through 25 offering a safe space with access to food, hygiene supplies, blankets, vouchers for clothing, a shower, laundry facilities and computers to search for employment, educational or housing opportunities. In November 2013, LNFY opened its 13,000-square-foot Lost-N-Found Thrift and Consignment store which accepts gently used clothing and household goods and sells them back to the public to fund LNFY outreach services.
Throughout 2014, LNFY has been working to renovate a historic home on Juniper Street in midtown Atlanta. The home was offered as part of a long-term lease agreement with Saint Mark United Methodist Church that will house 18 short-term transitional living spaces for youth and is expected to open in 2015. LNFY is in the middle of its fundraising campaign which will coordinate nearly $500,000 in donations and volunteer efforts to bring the project to life.
Since the organization began serving Atlanta’s LGBTQ community in 2011, LNFY has been able to help over 400 homeless youth. During the first half of 2014, LNFY has continued to see an increase of the number of youth in need of shelter, support and assistance transitioning to a safe and stable living environment.
Founded in December 2011, Lost-n-Found Youth is Atlanta’s only nonprofit agency working to take homeless Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer youth off the street. LNFY provides temporary housing, job search assistance and counseling, and many other services for LGBTQ youth aged 13 to 25 who are homeless or facing imminent homelessness. In 2014, the organization was named ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ by the Human Rights Campaign of Atlanta and ‘Best LGBT Nonprofit of 2014’ by the readers of Georgia Voice. More information is available at lost-n-found.org or at facebook.com/LostNFoundYouth and twitter.com/LostNFoundYouth.
Lost-n-Found Thrift & Consignment is located at 2585 Chantilly Drive NE in Atlanta and is open Wed – Sat. from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Sun from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. More information is available at facebook.com/LnFThrift.
The Lost-n-Found Youth Center located at the same address as Lost-n-Found Thrift & Consignment and is open Monday and Wednesday from noon to 5 p.m. and Friday from noon to 8 p.m. LNFY offers a 24-hour Homeless Youth Hotline at 678-856-7825 to provide support to youth in crisis.