ATLANTA: New LGBT Youth Homeless Shelter Benefits From Viral Campaign

Daniel Pierce, the Georgia teen whose ugly confrontation with his family became a viral video sensation, has directed future donations to Atlanta’s Lost N’ Found organization, which is preparing to open a shelter for homeless LGBT youth.

“People need to know this is an epidemic in the southeast, and it’s not going away any time soon,” said Executive Director Rick Westbrook. “Until we get all the queer youths in Atlanta situated, I’m not going anywhere.” He said they acquired the turn of the 20th century era Victorian home on Juniper Street from St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. The church agreed to lease the long-abandoned building to Lost N’ Found for 20 years, at $1 a year. “I’ve already paid the rent, yes,” said Westbrook, with a smile. His organization is seeing huge donations through diverted funds for Daniel Pierce, the Georgia teen who secretly recorded his parents’ reaction to his announcement he is gay. After the video went viral, Pierce saw nearly $100,000 come in to support his fund for living expenses, his parents having forced him to leave the house. Westbrook said Pierce made contact with Lost N’ Found, and offered to give some of that money. “I would say we’re right at $10,000 (through Pierce donations), said Westbrook. “Daniel is an incredibly bright and courageous young man. He is the epitome of who Lost n’ Found is here to serve.”

The shelter is expected to open in the spring of 2015. (Tipped by JMG reader Kevin)