Vulnerable LGBT Youth to Receive Better Access to Life-Saving Technology

STAUNTON, Va., June 5, 2018 PowerOn, the national program to put life-saving technology into the hands of America’s housing-insecure and at-risk LBGTQ youth, proudly announces the upcoming launch of three new partner centers, extending its reach to ten cities across the country.

PowerOn issued a national call for new partner applications in early February of this year. After a review of those applications received, three new partner centers will be opened imminently: Youth OUTright in Asheville, North Carolina; Triangle Community Center in Norwalk, Connecticut; and Sacramento LGBT Community Center in Sacramento, California.

"The PowerOn program strives to meet LGBTQ individuals where they are by working nationally to upcycle lightly used donated technology from individuals and companies," explained Christopher Wood, Executive Director of the LGBT Technology Institute. "Beginning with a certified wipe of all devices, we offer a complete refurbishment and distribution of life-saving technology to homeless and housing-insecure LGBTQ youth through a network of partner LGBTQ community centers and homeless shelters."

Each night, as many as 1.6 million children and teens sleep on America’s streets. Over 40 percent of these homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, which is equivalent to the population of our nation’s capital, or about 650,000 people.

With 64% of LGBTQ youth reporting discrimination or stigma coming from family compared to just 37% of non-LGBTQ youth, many LGBTQ youth find themselves in homeless or housing-insecure situations after family conflicts over sexual orientation or gender identity. Technology is important for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth to stay connected with supportive networks and to improve their personal safety. Phones and other devices often provide one of the only LGBTQ-safe and affirming access points to the Internet. Safety and connectivity are crucial resources since LGBTQ youth have twice the rate of early death compared to their non-LGBTQ peers experiencing homelessness.

"When an LGBTQ youth tells us it was because of a PowerOn device that they have a job, started a business, or are completing their education, it truly highlights the impact PowerOn is having all over the country in our community," said Christopher Wood. "With those stories in mind, I’m beyond thrilled that we will now have the same impact in three more cities across America this summer as we launch Norwalk, Asheville, and Sacramento."

With the launch of these three new centers, PowerOn partners will be able to assist LGBTQ youth in ten different cities across the country. PowerOn hopes to add seven more centers to the program by this time next year, bringing the national total to 17 partner centers.

For more information about PowerOn, or to donate your old technology, please visit http://www.poweronlgbt.org.

SOURCE PowerOn

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Daphne Gaines