Homelessness on rise for gay youth in metro Atlanta - CBS46 News

Homelessness on rise for gay youth in metro Atlanta

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

It is busier than normal these days at the Lost n Found shelter and thrift store on Chantilly Drive in Atlanta. There has been a rapid spike in gay homelessness in metro Atlanta during the past five years due primarily to family rejection.

Chance Crafton came to the facility for help a few months ago after he said his mother kicked him out on the street.

“I found hope and I found a reason to continue on and think about my future,” Crafton said. 

Not only does Crafton have physical disabilities, he’s also gay and there are hundreds of others on the streets just like him.

“But once you come here they give you a shelter, they get you food. You feel clean, well dressed and once you feel safe you can actually start thinking about your life again,” Crafton said.

He now works at the non-profit thrift store next to the drop-in center for LGBT youth. Brittany Garner is the program director.

“Fifty-six percent of our youth were kicked out of their homes for their sexual orientation or their gender,” Garner said.

Garner said more than 500 gay youth dropped by the center last month. That’s up from a monthly total of about 75 two years ago.

“Lost n Found did for me what nothing else at that time could have done for me. I needed help and I reached out and asked for it and they were there to help me,” said Lost n Found graduate Ryan Peterson.

It’s a facility which is trying to tackle the growing problem of homelessness and help victims in the process.

“We only have six beds so we really want to expand to 18 beds within the next year and also to expand that drop in center out,” Garner said.

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