Our LGBTQ Homeless Youth Leadership Project, began in 2009 in partnership with the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco. We learned about the innovative methods that pastors used to work with LGBTQ homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district in the 60’s and early 70’s. Then, we taught this history to contemporary homeless youth living in the Tenderloin, created a magazine with art and poetry to share the youth’s issues and had a speaking tour in the ten cities listed above to teach congregations and listen to LGBTQ homeless youth in local shelters.
Continued work and mentoring the LGBTQ homeless youth in San Francisco led to two events where street theater was used to bring attention to the issues of local youth and created the outline for a conference that will be held in Washington D.C. this October.
In October, thirty youth from the ten cities above will travel to D.C. with two support staff (social workers, case workers and pastors) to create a national agenda for LGBTQ homeless youth, to share their agenda with the organizations who lobby on their behalf and their elected officials and learn about public street theater from Kate Bornstein.
Then, Welcome will join the youth in their hometowns to share the leadership skills they learned in D.C. with other youth, advocates and local leaders who can help them get local support. We will also have a street theater event in each city to help draw local attention to the issues of the LGBTQ homeless youth.
We are currently working on raising funds for scholarship for travel and housing for the LGBTQ homeless youth during our Oct conference. A gift of $31 will house one youth for one night. $150 will cover the costs of Welcome’s liability insurance for the event. $186 will cover 6 nights lodging and enable a youth to attend the entire event. $500 will cover the plane fare for one youth. $686 will cover housing and a flight for one youth to attend the entire event.