BALTIMORE: Drop-In Center For Homeless LGBT Youth Damaged In Rioting
Lara Law seemed more sad than angry on Tuesday morning as she assessed the fire damage to the Baltimore youth center where she and others provide services to young homeless people frustrated with a lack of opportunities in the city’s many impoverished neighborhoods. If it was a similarly-frustrated city youth who torched the center amid the riots in Baltimore, Law said, "the anger is legitimate and understandable" -- even if the actions were not. “I don’t condone the violence and the destruction, the tearing down of what we need in our community, but the young people out on the streets are some of the same young people we’re serving – filled with trauma and violence and a lack of opportunity their whole lives,” Law said.YES Youth is soliciting donations on their Facebook page while repairs are being made from the fire. They also have an Amazon wish-list for the non-perishable snack items that they hand out to the homeless kids. (Tipped by JMG reader Nate)
“It’s understandable. We have to fix our way of doing things so they feel included and that there are opportunities for them.” By Tuesday afternoon, Law and her staff were in a temporary work space in a nearby café doing the same work they've always done for the program’s 14- to 25-year-old participants – some of whom Law fears may have been caught on the streets in the violence Monday night for no fault of their own. “We’re anxious to talk to them and find out how they were affected last night and how they continue to be affected,” said Law, director of the Youth Empowered Society Drop-in Center on North Charles Street.