Officially recognised on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 20th), MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” Its purpose is to empower individuals and unite communities to address national challenges.
For MLK Day of Service, HRC is engaging its supporters and allies to address the challenge of LGBT youth homelessness. According to a study by the Williams Institute, The Palette Fund, and the True Colors Fund, LGBT youth make up to 40% of homeless and at-risk youth. Also, according to a study by Center for American Progress, LGBT youth are eight times more likely to commit suicide if rejected by family members.
“Dr. King said that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ and we firmly believe that real progress must reach LGBT young people in cities big and small who disproportionately face harsh treatment, abuse, even homelessness,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “MLK Day of Service is a day to make a difference in their lives, and it speaks to a year-round commitment to bring justice and equality to everyone, everywhere.”
With the support of its members and supporters, HRC is partnering with health & human service providers in 18 cities on a range of activities that will provide hundreds of volunteers with a meaningful service experience while addressing LGBT youth homelessness: from organising donation drives of clothing and toiletries; to assembling care packages of travel-sized hygiene items, school supplies, and winter accessories; to minor renovation projects. Altogether, HRC is partnering with 23 health & human service providers across 18 cities. They are Lifeworks (Austin), Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Youth (Boston), Broadway Youth Center (Chicago), Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth (Cincinnati), The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (Cleveland), Montrose Grace Place (Houston), AIDS Project Los Angeles (Los Angeles), Covenant House (New Orleans), the Hetrick-Martin Institute (New York City), The Church of St. Luke’s in the Fields (New York City), Casa Youth Shelter (Los Alamitos), Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development (Phoenix), SMYRC & Q Center (Portland), Triple Point (Portland), Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives (San Antonio), San Diego Youth Services (San Diego) Larkin Street Youth Services (San Francisco), SunServe (Wilton Manors / Ft. Lauderdale), Avenues for Homeless Youth (Minneapolis), The Bridge for Youth (Minneapolis), Casa Ruby (Washington, D.C.), Sasha Bruce Youthwork (Washington, D.C.), and The DC Center (Washington, D.C.) HRC is inviting other organizations such as businesses, schools, and places of worship to support these efforts.
For more information about these service projects, please visit www.hrc.org/mlkdayofservice.