MLK Day of Service: Finding Stability & A Place to Belong at San Diego Youth Services
January 14, 2014 by Guest contributor
Post submitted by the staff of San Diego Youth Services
In the days leading up to MLK Day of Service on January 20, HRC and its partners, including San Diego Youth Services, are working to increase national attention about LGBT youth homelessness through service activities in over 15 cities.
Stay tuned to the HRC Blog throughout January as our members, supporters, and allies share their stories about why they are participating in MLK Day of Service and the work that we are doing together.
“When I went there, everything changed,” Indie said. “I was given an opportunity I never had. I was able to live my life, and make a future for myself. Now that I’m older, I’m able to realize how much running away and going to Storefront helped me. I know I wouldn’t be where I am without San Diego Youth Services and the staff who helped me.”
Indie Landrum is a 20-year-old community organizer and youth support partner with San Diego Youth Services. Indie has their own apartment, and is currently working on transferring to a college in San Francisco.
Indie’s life hasn’t always been so stable.
Indie ran away from home at the age of 16. They were dealing with family member’s severe addiction and other issues. They stayed with friends for a while, but nothing was stable. “I was scared that my mom was going to find me and make me go back. I never wanted to go back.” Landrum said. They were directed to the Storefront, a program of San Diego Youth Services. Storefront is an emergency shelter for homeless, runaway, and sexually exploited youth the ages of 12 to 17.
“Usually being queer, especially trans*, makes things a lot more difficult, but being a service partner at Storefront was actually really easy because the staff were so supportive, and some were even queer themselves. Even now, as a staff person, I am able to help facilitate the LGBT 101 training and help staff all over the agency to become able to work with queer youth,” said Indie.
“I’ve always been able to lean back onto the staff who I met at Storefront. Some I don’t talk to anymore, and others I talk frequently with.” Indie said. “They’re the ones who pulled me out of this place where my life was going nowhere, and I’ll never forget that.
They made me believe that I could make a difference, and actually do something effective with my life. Knowing that changed everything,” said Landrum. “When I went into Storefront, I was so angry. I didn’t know how to deal with emotion: pain, hurt, sorrow, loss, everything turned into anger.
But at Storefront, they really teach you how to live your life as a functioning person.”
This January 19, please join HRC and San Diego Youth Services in the fight against LGBT youth homelessness. To join this event in San Diego, please visit www.hrc.org/MLKSANDIEGO
And to find an MLK Day of Service event near you, visit http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/martin-luther-king-jr-day-of-service