Post submitted by James K. Rector, HRC Arkansas Field Organizer

Every year in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, HRC members, supporters, and partner organizations across Arkansas gather for an annual Day of Service. This year was a special year for HRC Arkansas, kicking off our “MLK Year of Service” with local churches and Indivisible huddle groups across Central Arkansas.  

On MLK Day of Service, more than 20 volunteers gathered to support the work of Lucie’s Place, which provides LGBTQ young adults experiencing homelessness in Central Arkansas with safe living environments, job training, and counseling services in order to ensure lifelong stability and success, and works to promote equality and acceptance for LGBTQ young adults.

Volunteers helped assemble furniture from IKEA, clean, and prepare a second Lucie's Place home to be ready for LGBTQ homeless youth in Little Rock in need of shelter.

Youth homelessness in the U.S. is a national crisis in urban, suburban and rural communities affecting nearly 2.8 million youth between the ages of 12 and 24. Consistent research finds that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented among homeless youth, comprising approximately 40 percent of the total homeless youth population -- even though they make up less than 10 percent of the overall youth population.

HRC Arkansas is working to secure 12 local congregations and/or community organizations to provide year-round support for Lucie’s Place. Seven have already committed.

Here's how your congregation can get involved:

  • Pledge to pay the utilities for Lucie’s Place one month out of the year for their second home — average cost $250/month
  • Pledge to pay for the meals of residents. $100/ month per resident — with the potential for 8 residents, totaling $800
  • Pledge to donate one month’s worth of toilet paper, paper products, toothpaste, soap, house cleaning products, gift cards for buses and cell phones, etc. one month out of the year
  • Host a meal for LGBTQ homeless youth. More details to come!
  • Sponsor monthly outings for youth groups (ages 18-24 on average) to participate in activities such as bowling night, skating rink, movie night, etc.

HRC believes that we have a responsibility to deepen our commitment and connection to those in our community who are too often at its margins. This year, HRC Arkansas will work to ensure the safety and well-being of homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth throughout our state.

If you would still like to help with the new home please consider helping stock the new residence with supplies by purchasing items that will be shipped directly to Lucie's Place from their Amazon Wishlist:

If your church or organization would like to participate in the MLK Year of Service please contact our Field Organizer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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