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Hi friends,

Please help me support LGBTQ homeless youths by sharing and donating to my birthday fundraiser.

Proceeds will be used to assemble care packages containing essential items such as tooth brush, tooth paste, feminine care products, socks etc. as well as provide temporary housing for as many LGBTQ homeless youth as possible.

I will be working closely with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and a few local extended stay motels in the greater Los Angeles area to maximize the impact of this campaign.

If you're an LA resident, your donation also gives you access to my private launch party this summer for my new vegan shoe line. Please contact us if you’d like to attend or get involved.

Up to 1.6 million young people experience homelessness in the United States every year. 40 percent of them identify as LGBT, according to a 2012 study conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law. It’s estimated that LGBT youth represent about 7% of the population, which puts that 40% figure into heartbreaking context.

The study’s other findings are equally bleak: 46 percent of homeless LGBT youths ran away because of family rejection of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 43% were forced out by parents, and 32% faced physical, emotional or sexual abuse at home.

The consequences of homelessness, particularly for LGBTQ youth, are far reaching and can last a lifetime. Homelessness is harmful to mental and physical health, and youth who are homeless are at an increased risk for sexual abuse and exploitation, chemical and alcohol dependency, social stigma and discrimination. These youth also experience lower levels of long-term educational attainment—placing them at an even greater disadvantage when they enter the job market. Growing up without the critical family and social safety nets so many young people rely on results in catastrophic consequences for economic stability, educational attainment and life expectancy.

Little support exists at the federal level to provide funding for programs that improve family relationships and reduce homelessness among LGBTQ youth. As a result, homeless youth, particularly LGBTQ youth, continue to face severe obstacles in their emotional and professional development.

No amount of donation is too small as every single social share and dollar counts. Thank you for opening your heart to this cause.

With love & gratitude,
Agnes
@artsyagnes
Graphic Art: Kazimir Lee