Washington, DC, home of the federal government, the Smithsonian, the World Bank and all those other government agencies who names are reduced to alphabet letters, doesn’t have a shelter for LGBTQ endangered youth. How is that possible? We have food banks, shelters for homeless families (although not nearly enough) and shelters for battered women (House of Ruth, although again horribly more is needed here too). We have famous this and that, shiny new, expensive condos are rising up everywhere to help shelter the masses of people, young and old, who are returning to the city to live and work.
Where is the shelter for those thrown out of their homes for their sexuality?
Discarded like garbage, removed from family, schools, and every type of support possible, these kids are then forced to scramble to survive on the streets while lacking the skills to do so. Fragile prey who often meet the predators just waiting for them. Others arrive thinking the city offers some hope and answers and find neither.
Who is going to answer their cries for help?
There used to be the Wanda Alston House but they went bankrupt. Other shelters I reported on apparently (from sources working in DC close to the situation) are turning away LGBTQ youth because of their sexuality. *shakes head* But there is a glimmer of hope at least for the future.
Yesterday, my Metro M/M group (authors, bloggers, publishers and readers) met to talk books, conferences, and other things at the wonderful Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City VA. A friend mentioned that the Wanda Alston House is being revived as The Alston Project and she is working with the organizers. That is wonderful and much needed news. We need this shelter, the LGBTQ youth need this shelter and I want to help. And hopefully you do too.
So I will keep you all posted. Watch for a blog on The Alston Project. I have ideas percolating to launch a donation drive when it is ready for one. Maybe even auctioning off/giving away ebooks and t-shirts for money to go into this project. Let me know if you all have any ideas! Lets pool our thoughts, our resources, our energies and make a shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth a reality.
We read books about them, romances and fictional stories by authors whose extraordinary talents make us weep over the plight and reality of gay youth so lets channel those emotions and help them in other ways too. Keep tuned in for more information and ways to help our LGBTQ endangered kids!
Here are links to LGBTQ shelters in other cities that need help and donations too:
www.aliforneycenter.org (New York City)
U CAN – LGBTQ Host Home Program (Chicago, IL)
Lost-n-Found Youth, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)
Article on House Bill – New House bill seeks to aid LGBT homeless youth
And now for the week ahead in reviews:
Monday, Sept. 23: Heroes and Villains by Harper Kingsley
Tuesday, Sept 24: Blessed Curses by Madeleine Ribbon
Wed., Sept 25: Summer Lovin’ Anthology
Thurs., Sept. 26: City Knight by T.A. Webb
Friday, Sept. 27: Roughstock: Blind Ride, Season One by BA Tortuga
Sat., Sept 28: The Case of the Missing Aha Moment – Scattered Thoughts Mini Rant on Writing