A 6-month update from the Executive Director of Lost-n-Found Youth, Rick Westbrook, is below. We have upwards of 7 homeless youth on our wait list. Your support goes a long way, not only to help the 6 youth we are housing, but to help us plan to expand to help even more!
Lost-n-Found Youth has just passed the 6 month mark, and things are in full swing.
All of the youth in the house now:
-Have jobs or are just waiting on their schedules
-Start school / college this week, Or
-Go off to Job Corps soon
We’ve helped over 65 youths in that time, BUT there is even more that need us.
We field so many calls each week, and yesterday was off the hook. As soon as we would have up from one youth, another was calling in.
We have them on our wait list, and we give them resources for other places, that while they are not with us we do try to help.
Let me tell you about the call I took…
It was a Trans M-F, that was being kicked out of a shelter.
I explained the situation and the young lady said, “I understand Mr. Rick. You take care of those younger ones; they need your help more. I’ll make it until you can find me something. There’s a bridge I can go under till something comes along. Do you have any tents I can borrow?”
I said I didn’t, but I did have a tarp, some rope, and I’ll see if I can find a blanket and some food.
“That will work fine,” she said.
OK pudding, I’ll call you when I can get all the things together
“Thank you Mr. Rick.”
I hung up the phone and cried my eyes out for 10 minutes!!!
I never thought about putting together a care package that including camping/survival gear, but that’s where we are at.
I got in the car and drove to the appointed spot and met (we’ll call her J) J. She was big girl with an incredible smile and can probably take care of herself on the street better than some.
BUT SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO.
More and more of OUR youths are being put out because they choose to live their lives openly and not hide who they are.
This has to change!!!
I love being able to report the progress we make at Lost-n-Found, but as much as it hurts, I will also report the needs that are out there.
These are OUR youth, in OUR community, and OUR future, and I along with the LnF board and volunteers will fight to keep them safe for as long as it takes.
– Rick Westbrook / Executive Director