By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Lost-n-Found Youth is starting 2023 out strong with various new initiatives, affecting their thrift store and drop-in center. DAVID spoke to Director of Development Randall Burks about all the exciting changes and their invitation to see it all at an open house event on January 30.
Lost-n-Found Youth has started the year strong. Please give us a quick overview of your thrift store and new drop-in center changes.
We wanted to expand the services offered at our thrift store and be more centrally located. We will still service drop-ins at our shelter if they stop in but with the services offered, pantry and clothing vouchers, for example, being located at the thrift store, we reimagined an all-in-one location for our youth.
Can you provide us with more detail on what changes have been made to the thrift store?
We began the renovations by moving our production and sort process to the back of the building, where we take donations. This emptied the much-needed space at the front of the building for our drop-in center. The drop-in area houses a bathroom, shower, washer & dryer, a small kitchen area, and space to charge equipment, apply for jobs, or schedule services with our outreach coordinator.
Tell us about the new drop-in center. Is it relocating from the youth center in Grant Park?
We are relocating the drop-in center, but we will not turn away people that happen to drop in at the Grant Park location.
Tell us about your open house event on January 30 and why it is so significant.
The entire thrift store has been reimagined and changed, along with the addition of the drop-in center. We felt it was important to reintroduce the space to those that had not shopped in some time or those who had simply never shopped in the store. We are looking to broaden our base of supporters and allies. It makes sense for us to invite the public in to see the changes and to tell our story. We are an organization dedicated to ending homelessness for all LGBTQ+ youth by providing them with the skills and support needed to live independently.
What other initiatives have you planned for 2023?
We want to continue to grow our services and capacity as we search for larger space to serve more youth. Growth of services offered and youth supported is a critical driver for our organization in the coming year.
How can we help to support your mission to end LGBTQ+ homelessness?
Helping us communicate our message to an ever-growing audience is vastly important.
Lost-n-Found Youth is hosting its Open House on January 30 between 6-8 pm to celebrate the relocation of the drop-in center. In addition, they will offer an exclusive shopping experience in the newly redesigned thrift store with light bites, cocktails, and 50% off your entire purchase.