If you’d rather just not think about the actual conditions some of Atlanta’s homeless LGBT youth face, Lost N Found Youth isn’t going to let you ignore it. The queer youth advocacy group releases an unsettling video to tell it like it is.
It may be easier to turn a blind eye, but volunteers from the organization take us into an abandoned building in Midtown where LGBT teens and young adults live in squalor not far from where much of gay Atlanta parties. Group founder Rick Westbrook introduces the “Atlanta ‘Squat'” video.
“Everybody’s always asking what it’s like to do outreach and what our kids are having to live in,” Westbrook says. “So we’re at an abandoned building, we’re going to take you in, we’re not going to show you any kids, but we’re going to show you some of the rooms that we found.”
Once inside, mountains of trash, discarded personal effects and worse are a harsh reality that’s hard to face.
“I think the most unsettling thing beyond the trash and the drugs was the absence of hope,” says one of the Lost N Found volunteers on the video. “When you look around the room at all the artifacts of the person who’s living there, it really starts to change your preconceived notions of who a homeless person actually is.”
Click the video above to see exactly what he means. Then consider learning more about Lost N Found Youth, keep up with them on Facebook, and remember what you’re partying for at the next Big Gay Game Show or other fundraiser for the group.