ATLANTA, Oct. 29, 2014 – Lost-n-Found Youth announced additional members of its Board of Directors to add new perspectives and further drive its mission as Atlanta’s only non-profit organization focused on getting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer homelessness youth off the streets. In the past 60 days, Lost-n-Found named new members to its Board of Directors including Skyler Akins who has nearly 10 years’ experience in local, state and federal level government relations and public policy, Adam Rimes is a Certified Public Accountant and CEO of his own accounting and IT solutions firm and Patrice Pippens who is a two-year Lost-n-Found volunteer responsible for coordinating hotline and outreach services. In addition, for the first time in its history, Lost-n-Found Youth has added a past client by appointing Daniel Ashley Pierce as a representative of the LGBTQ homeless youth the organization serves.
Today’s announcement is just the latest in series of steps that Lost-n-Found Youth has taken over several months to dramatically increase attention on the LGBTQ youth homeless crisis in Atlanta. Earlier this year, Lost-n-Found Youth rolled out a completely re-vamped website with the launch of launch LNFY.org as well as announced leadership changes and strategic additions to its Board of Directors to bring broader perspectives and add critical skills in core areas for the growing organization.
“As we approach the three year anniversary of Lost-n-Found Youth on Nov. 2, we’ve seen phenomenal growth and community support while also facing the challenges of ever increasing needs from the youth we serve,” said Rick Westbrook, Lost-n-Found Youth’s Executive Director and one of its principle co-founders. “Having all the right voices at the table is critical to help shine the spotlight on the reality that Atlanta is quickly becoming ground zero for the LGBTQ youth homelessness crisis in America.”
While it was in the midst of a $1 million capital campaign to renovate a historic home on Juniper Street in midtown Atlanta, the organization found itself at the center of a social and traditional media spotlight after a YouTube video and crowdsourcing campaign to raise support for Daniel Pierce’s story went viral reaching more than 7 million viewers around the globe.
“Lost-n-Found was there for support from the earliest moments and they stepped in before I ever got to the first critical 48 hours of homelessness. Their quick response is proof that there is a safe place in Atlanta youth like me to turn to for support,” said Daniel Ashley Pierce. “Even though my personal story was extreme, I hope my experiences can continue the dialogue about GLBTQ youth homelessness and people off the street by engaging the community. For that reason, I’m glad to serve as an ambassador and voice for queer youth.”
The new Board members join Charlotte Cagle, Chairperson; Justin Ziegler, Vice Chair; Jason Fasi, Secretary; Bruce Garner, Treasurer; Dr. Jesse Peel; Mickyel Bradford; Liliana Bakhtiari, Events Director; Paul Skrbec, Communications Director as well as co-foundering Board members Paul Swicord; Rick Westbrook, Executive Director; and Art Izzard, Outreach Director as advocates for Georgia’s homeless youth.
Lost-n-Found Youth continues its work with members the community to help bring projects to life and provide for its two years of operations for its expanded transitional housing program. When complete in 2015, the Juniper Street renovation project will triple the number of beds for homeless queer youth and will eventually house 18 short-term living spaces for youth between the ages of 18 and 25. To make a contribution, supporters can donate any amount by texting ‘LOST’ to 50155, by purchasing a brick to help pave the exterior paths around the Juniper house or by making individual contributions on through LNFY.org.
About Lost-n-Found Youth
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. Lost-n-Found Youth 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 LNFY.org or at facebook.com/LostNFoundYouth and twitter.com/LostNFoundYouth.
Lost-n-Found Youth offers a 24-hour Homeless Youth Hotline at 678-856-7825 to provide support to youth in crisis. 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, Lost-n-Found Youth 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.
The Lost-n-Found Thrift and Consignment Store and Lost-n-Found Youth Center are located at 2585 Chantilly Drive NE in Atlanta. The thrift store is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Lost-n-Found Youth Center is open Monday and Wednesday from noon to 5 p.m. and Friday from noon to 8 p.m.