40% of Homeless Youth Are LGBTQ, So Why Not Accept the Donation?
Hearts With A Mission, a faith-based homeless and at-risk youth shelter in Medford, Oregon, has refused a nearly $3000 donation from the Portland Gay Men's Chorus. The only youth center in Josephine County, it seems clear they're helping the most vulnerable in their community, but it's unclear how they can refuse a donation from a group just because that group is gay.
Hearts With A Mission recently asked the city council for an extra $26,000 to cover unexpected expenses, on top of the $50,000 they already receive from taxpayers.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports "officials from the faith-based group that runs the shelter said the decision to turn down the money was made with thoughts to the safety of the at-risk youths the shelter serves, not to discriminate against the gay men’s group."
"By branding something with our logo, what we are essentially doing is endorsing it," the youth center's executive director, Kevin Lamson (photo), told the city council, as the Daily Courier reports. "It's a shame that that factors into how somebody else perceives our organization."
On its website Hearts With A Mission says it "is not a religious organization," and "not associated with any particular religious congregation." But it makes clear its Christian ideals.
Hearts With A Mission was founded on the same Judeo-Christian values that our nation was built upon. Faith at the shelter will be "lived" not "preached". As founder, I believe in God and the saving grace of His Son Jesus Christ. It will be our desire to serve God by the demonstration of our faith through action by our love for Him and the support of homeless and at-risk youth. It will be our highest honor to serve youth and their families of all backgrounds.
On its Facebook page, Hearts With a Mission gratefully posts photos of donors with checks, staff profiles, and informational posts, like one that says, "Did you know almost 40% of the homeless in the United States are under 18?"
They might want to post another: 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ.
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Image: Screenshot via YouTube