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Atlanta nonprofit helping homeless LGBTQ youth find shelter, resources

An estimated 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ, according to True Colors United.

ATLANTA — October is all about pride celebrations in Atlanta.

Along with the pride festivities across the metro, one local nonprofit is using this time to raise awareness about homeless LGBTQ youth.

Lost-N-Found Youth (LNFY) in Atlanta aims to provide shelter, safety and resources to help LGBTQ youth live independently off the streets.

Homelessness is a problem for many LGBTQ teens. 

A study from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago finds LGBT youth had a 120% increased risk for experiencing homelessness. Meanwhile, an estimated 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ, according to True Colors United. 

As part of Atlanta Pride Week, LNFY is hosting a virtual 5k to raise awareness and money to help LGBTQ youth who are experiencing homelessness. The event called "Running for Home" will help fund the nonprofit's mission to get youth the resources they need.

"We have amazing case management that targets the youths' mental health, employment, education and life skills," Neena Beausoleil, the director of programs for LNFY said. "So in a short amount of time, the youth are able to have a roadmap for a successful future."

Beausoleil said she hopes the event will also help the organization grow its facility.

"What we would really wish for and hope for in the near future is our own space because currently, we are in the facility of the Park Avenue Baptist Church," she said. "We would really love to have our own space."

You can sign up for the race online. It costs $40 to participate. You can run the distance virtually between Oct. 7 to 13. 

The event coincides with Atlanta Pride Weekend, World Homeless Day on Oct. 10 and National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.

The nonprofit also runs a 24/7 helpline for LGBTQ youth. You can call or text 678-856-7825 for crisis support.