UPDATE About Emergency Food Drive for LGBTQ Homeless Youth via Proud Haven

Last week, we shared the news from Proud Haven that they are in urgent need of food related gift cards during December.

Proud Haven’s Lindsey Sickler told me they expect to serve at least 30 youth this month. Some will need coats and clothing; almost all of them will need food. Hunger is a tremendous issue among LGBTQ youth. 

But hunger also affects teenagers who are out on their own. For at least 320,000 to 400,000 teens each year, hunger and homelessness are most often tied to family rejection.

There is also no official storage space so what is needed right now are food gift cards that can be distributed to the youth. No food, please. If you want to donate food, please reach out to Lyndsey Sickler 

We also provided multiple options to help – online donations, mailing address, an Amazon wish list, etc. Those are still valid and you can find the information here. 

Over the weekend, donations have come in – it will take a few days for Proud Haven to process the donations and give us a grand total, so we are still pushing ahead asking you to donate.

For now, we know

  • California Cycle Path has raised nearly $400 via a FB crowdfundraiser and collected $80 in gift cards which they are hand delivering to Proud Haven.
  • At least 3 of my friends have told me that they purchased cards to send to Proud Haven.
  • The Food Bank has reached out to offer long-term support.
  • A local food pantry has reached out as well to help provide food for the youth who do have housing through Proud Haven.

Here’s a more personal anecdote. This afternoon, someone reached out to me via Facebook messenger and asked me if it was true that parents would reject a LGBTQ child, leaving them to face homelessness and hunger. I discussed it a bit and sent them some relevant links so they could educate themselves. A few hours later, I received a text from a neighbor seeking help for a trans male schoolmate of her daughter’s who had been kicked out of their home. I was able to connect this concerned adult with Proud Haven and other resources to get their questions answered. This young person was safe for the shorttem, but there remains a real possibility that they may flee home again and end up somewhere less safe to avoid being found by his family.  Find a better solution now is imperative and involves multiple players, including Proud Haven. Not every rejected youth is going to find sanctuary with a friend’s family.

Homelessness. Hunger. Poverty. Family rejection. Limited access to healthcare. These are very real issues for some of our young people. We can’t fix everything at once, but we can respond as we are called upon by the folks on the ground doing this work.

This is not something that has a final deadline, unfortunately. Youth will still be experiencing hunger on December 26 and January 2. So if you get paid next week or next month and want to chip in, that’s going to be very helpful.

You can buy the cards and take to Proud Haven directly during office hours.  You can mail cards, too. Their address is 5132 Butler St., Pittsburgh PA 15201

You can shop online at Giant Eagle and have cards shipped to Proud Haven.

You can shop via the Amazon gift wish list for this drive and have cards shipped to PH.

Ecards can be sent to admin@proudhaven.org.

You can also send a check made payable to Proud Haven to 5132 Butler St., Pittsburgh PA 15201.

You can donate online to Proud Haven via their website (monthly will get there faster than one-time) and send an email letting them know it’s for food gift cards.


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