WSC's second annual Pull For Pride is in full swing. This event is so important to me for a variety of reasons.
1. It allows people from all over the country to participate in the sport they love while advocating for a cause they care about.
2. It let's participants use their COLLECTIVE strength to impact the world in a meaningful way.
and, most importantly,
3. It raises awareness and funds for a population that deserves an equal opportunity to thrive.
Donations to Pull For Pride nationwide will go to nonprofits that are specifically working to tackle the epidemic of homelessness being experienced by LGBTQ youth.
From Erica Smith's article on the crisis:
"National studies show that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ [and] these numbers are likely conservative. Why are the numbers so staggering?
Conflict with families related to their sexual orientation and gender identity is the most common cause of LGBTQ youth homelessness.
After coming out to their families or being discovered to be LGBTQ, half of all teens get a negative reaction. More than 1 in 4 are thrown out.
Many others are abused both verbally and physically or made the focus of their family’s dysfunction. The systemic reasons that many LGBTQ youth experience homelessness are complex. Factors of race, poverty, and transphobia exacerbate a youth’s vulnerability.
Many young people have already experienced the multiple failures of social service and child welfare systems meant to protect them, including youth who age out of foster care with no safety net.
Once a youth is on the streets, their vulnerability only increases. They’re at higher risk than their non-LGBTQ homeless peers for being victimized by others and for experiencing negative sexual and mental health outcomes. They have higher rates of substance abuse. And as they fight for survival, they’re also at higher risk of arrest, as homelessness is the #1 predictor of youth involvement in the juvenile justice system."
All money donated through this page goes DIRECTLY to the Ali Forney Center. It does not pass through WSC at all.
The Ali Forney Center is an amazing organization, doing life changing work for LGBTQ youth.
From Ali Forney Center's website:
"Our mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. Our organization's namesake, Ali Forney, was a gender-nonconforming teen who fled his home at 13. He entered the foster care system where he was bounced around to several homes, and was beaten and abused.
Ali ended up living on the streets at the age of 15. Ali was dedicated to helping other young people and publicly advocated for the safety of homeless LGBT youth. Tragically, in December of 1997, Ali was murdered in Harlem—shot in the head and left for dead.
Committed to saving the lives of LGBTQ young people, in 2002 Carl Siciliano founded the Ali Forney Center (AFC) in memory of Ali. Since AFC's launch with just six beds in a church basement, the organization has grown to become the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths in the country—assisting nearly 1,400 youths per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center which provides over 70,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered site housing program.
Our mission is to provide LGBTQ young people housing and a continuum of supportive services to help them thrive and prepare them for independent living. AFC has been heralded for our full continuum of care approach to services for LGBTQ homeless youth. AFC's founder, Carl Siciliano, was named a White House Champion of Change by President Obama citing the wide recognition AFC's programs have received for their quality and innovation."
Please consider offering just $10 towards my campaign. Let's join forces and be stronger together!