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LGBTQ Homeless Youth Summit in Chicago

Wednesday Apr 30, 2014

Windy City Times is hosting a summit May 2-5 on LGBTQ youth in the Chicago region, to assess the current issues impacting homeless youth, and new solutions to these complex issues. Kim Hunt, executive director of Affinity Community Services, is the summit's director.

Confirmed speakers include Rep. Greg Harris of the 13th district; LZ Granderson, ESPN commentator and CNN contributor; and Jama Shelton, a project director with True Colors Fund; Rev. Jamie Frazier, Lighthouse Church of Chicago; Juliana Harms, Dept. of Children and Family Services; James Cunningham, Housing & Urban Development; and John Pfeiffer, Chicago Dept. of Family Support Services.

The summit will be live Tweeted at #DreamIt2014. Parts of the summit will also be videotaped for later viewing, and a full written report will be available online.

The title of the summit is "Owning Our Lives: Dream It. Speak It. Do It!!" The website for registration, donations and full information is

Each of the summit's three days will have a different area of focus:

Friday, May 2, 2-8 p.m.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital
Open to people 25 and under who have been impacted by homelessness.
Registration: FREE

Sat., May 3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
University of Illinois at Chicago, Behavioral Sciences Bldg, 1007 W. Harrison
Open to youth, nonprofits, government agencies, politicians, foundations, activists, service providers, academic researchers and individuals working on these issues.
Registration: $45 adults, youth free

Mon., May 5, 8 a.m.-Noon
Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State St.
Report to government agencies, politicians, foundations (private, public and corporate foundations encouraged to attend), academics, and donors.
Registration: FREE

The first two days of the summit will be broken down into general plenary sessions and facilitated workshops focused on areas including: Housing issues (shelters, DCFS, HUD, etc.), public policy (city, county, state, federal), legal issues (emancipation, public safety), education and job training, healthcare access, mental health and substance abuse.

Additional Summit Team members are: Youth organizers: Breezy Connor, Keyshia LayMorris and Trian Alexander; and Bonn Wade, director of Chicago Houses's TransLife Center, is Adult Ally.

The summit has several goals, including:
- Looking at the complex causes of homelessness
- Shining a light on existing work being done
- Reporting on the gaps and needs
- Listing short-term and long-term strategies
- Creating action steps

The foundations and groups so far assisting with the summit include: The Crossroads Fund, True Colors Fund, Polk Bros Foundation, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Pierce Family Foundation, Lehman-Stamm Family Fund, Woods Fund of Chicago, Heartland Human Care Services, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Affinity Community Services, Lambda Legal, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago House, Howard Brown Health Center, The Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action, LM Catering French Caterer, Orbitz, and The venues donating their facilities are: Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, the University of Illinois at Chicago Gender and Sexuality Center, and the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Information and links to registration and donation pages here:


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