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Author heading LGBT shelter fundraiser

Lucie's Place will cater to homeless LGBT

Posted: February 3, 2014 - 4:10pm

Conway native and author Brock Thompson will head an upcoming fundraiser for Lucie’s Place, a prospective homeless shelter that will cater to young members of the LGBT community in Central Arkansas.

Thompson is author of “The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South,” and a Hendrix College alumnus working as programs coordinator at the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center in Washington, D.C.

He’ll read from his book at the group’s fundraiser, Dinner with the Author, set for March 18 from 7-9 p.m. at Hendrix’s Worsham Hall in the Student Life and Technology Center.

Thompson said his account of gay and lesbian life in Arkansas recorded in his historical autobiographical book, which contains a “colorful and proud history” of the LGBT story in the south may provide context to “what’s going on with the LGBT youth in Arkansas.”

Thompson, an advisory board member for Lucie’s Place, said homelessness among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth population is not confined to urban centers, but it’s an issue in Little Rock and the surrounding areas.

For about three years the group’s board of directors has worked to raise enough funds to open a shelter for LGBT people ages 18-25 while continuing to support its programs, which include counseling at no charge, said board president Kay Morgan, of Conway.

Morgan said Lucie’s Place is set to open a Little Rock location in 2015 as a place for young adults who are homeless and without resources due to their LGBT identity.

Lucie’s Place will be a transitional shelter that specifically serves the population Morgan says may be turned down by relatives and other shelters.

“If there’s one LGBT youth who has been kicked out of their home, then there’s a need. We’re going to provide a safe and loving atmosphere for the child. That’s the Christian thing to do,” Thompson said. “Our goal is to provide a safe home so these young people can live their lives to the fullest while developing the skills to live independently.”

Thompson said LGBT-identified individuals may be the target of discrimination, violent acts or sexual assault in traditional homeless shelters.

Lucie’s Place seeks to help its residents develop skills, savings and resources necessary to move into an independent life, according to the group’s website.

Advisory board members are Thompson, First Lady of Arkansas Ginger Beebe, news anchor Dawn Scott, Eric Hutchinson of Hutchinson Financial, Gifted and Talented educator Patty Jolliff, the Heath Department’s Dr. Gary Wheeler, HIV specialist Dr. Terry Jefferson, licensed clinical social worker and therapist Jean Speegle, and psychologist Dr. Ralph Hyman.

The group’s board of directors are Morgan, Anne Orsi, James Herden, Karen Thompson, Tod Crites and Brenda Guillet.

The executive director is Penelope Poppers, of Little Rock.

Tickets to the fundraiser are available by visiting www.luciesplace.org.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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reader
20103
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reader 02/04/14 - 10:37 am
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Great to see some

assistance coming to availability for the LGBTQ youth community. Kudos to all involved!

InsGuru
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InsGuru 02/06/14 - 10:09 am
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Hmmm

"Thompson said LGBT-identified individuals may be the target of discrimination, violent acts or sexual assault in traditional homeless shelters."

How does a homeless person who is a member of the LGBT community afford the flamboyant throw it in your face atire that would identify them as a member of said community in the first place?

conwaygerl
7177
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conwaygerl 02/06/14 - 10:23 am
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7
I have to ask

If you're homeless and not L or G or B or T, are you refused service?
Or over 25 years old?

Why just 18-25? Not that we don't know that answer already.

mikeng1994
0
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mikeng1994 02/06/14 - 10:30 am
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When an Ordinary Homeless Shelter Just Won't Do

I would expect nothing less from a Hendrix Alumni from Conway.

Hennysmom
718
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Hennysmom 02/06/14 - 10:42 am
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So someone sees a need in our

So someone sees a need in our community to provide services for at risk youths, and all you can come up with is snarky comments and discussing clothing options. Why not be grateful that someone is simply trying to help others. I cannot even begin to comprehend the difficulties these young people are facing in our community. I get that many, many people see the LGBT community as being flamboyant and self serving, but at the root of their DNA they are human and deserve to be treated with dignity. As to someone showing up who doesn't fit their intake protocol, I would hazard a guess that they would still endeavor to help them find services that fit their needs.

conwaygerl
7177
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conwaygerl 02/06/14 - 11:27 am
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Yes, but

--but at the root of their DNA they are human and deserve to be treated with dignity.--

Only until the age of 26, apparently.

Read between the lines.

Hennysmom
718
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Hennysmom 02/06/14 - 11:46 am
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What would you suggest?

What would you suggest? Surely you are familiar with other shelters that have set up parameters for who they provide services for. Should they all just have an open door policy?

mikeng1994
0
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mikeng1994 02/06/14 - 12:09 pm
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Shouldn't they? If they do

Shouldn't they?

If they do not, then they are just that, self-serving.

odoketa
394
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odoketa 02/07/14 - 10:29 am
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alternately

Another interpretation of self serving might be making snarky comments rather than helping solve the problem.

(and yes, I guess making this comment means I better go make a donation or something)

sevenof400
7006
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sevenof400 02/08/14 - 07:58 am
3
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Or stop living a deviant lifestyle.

Problem solved.

You're welcome.

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