Annually, HRC Arkansas recognizes the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday as a “day on” rather than a day off.
Post submitted by Dr. Denise Donnell, HRC Senior Faith Organizer
Annually, HRC Arkansas recognizes the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday as a “day on” rather than a day off. This year, we were joined by four partners: Lucie’s Place, Immerse Arkansas, Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church (UMC) and Quapaw Quarter UMC. Volunteer efforts were concentrated on two local organizations: Lucie’s Place and Immerse Arkansas – two organizations that serve LGBTQ people.
Lucie’s Place is a drop-in service provider for homeless youth and offers transitional housing as well. 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.
Immerse Arkansas works with youth in crisis to fill the gap in the child welfare system. The number of children in foster care has spiked from 3,086 in 2015 to 5,029 as of September 2016.
Day of Service volunteers had several options for engagement intended to meet both the physical and emotional needs of contributors. More than 100 hygiene kits, complete with personal notes from Girl Scouts, were assembled and delivered directly to the affected population.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service was a great success, giving HRC Arkansas another opportunity to be present with the community and to continue the work of advocacy for LGBTQ people.
To learn more about Lucie’s Place, visit luciesplace.org. For more information about Immerse Arkansas, visit immersearkansas.org. Learn more about how you can get involved in the fight for collective liberation for the LGBTQ community in Arkansas at www.hrc.org/Arkansas.