Family Focus

Charlotte LGBTQ youth get housing instability help

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Time Out Youth never stopped providing inclusive programs and vital services to meet the needs of LGBTQ youth in our community.

It adapted its programming models to virtual and utilized teletherapy platforms to ensure they could reach as many young people as possible.

“Our mission is to provide support and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth and young adults,” said O’Neale Atkinson, interim executive director for Timeout Youth.

LGBTQ youth without a permanent home are at high risk for a number of negative experiences and outcomes.

Homelessness is an overwhelming experience that can have a heavy negative impact on a person’s physical and mental health, well-being, and development.

Time Out Youth’s Host Home Program helps LGBTQ youth who have been kicked out their homes due to sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.

A surprise visit from Lowe’s was a welcome surprise for Time Out Youth which was awarded $25,000 to help with its housing, skills, trade and technology programs.

Based in the greater Charlotte region, Lowe’s committed to making a difference in its hometown through grants and partnerships with local organizations.

It was a visibly emotional moment for Atkinson when he received an oversized check and gift card from the Lowe’s team.

“You all got me, this is so amazing,” he said. “I assure you that we are going to put this to good use.”

Lowe’s focus areas include creating safe, affordable housing, investing in skill trade experts and working with technology, military and community development organizations.

In 2020, 90 young people received housing and employment support through Time Out Youth case management services, and 30 young people experiencing homelessness were successfully transitioned to housing,

Over $9,000 of support provided to youth in housing case management to ensure access to food, vital resources, and to prevent youth from experiencing homelessness.

Time Out Youth maintains a robust housing program, which saw nearly 100 clients in 2020.

With an increase in higher-income wage earners, higher-end housing stock is growing, and the number of affordable units is declining.

Charlotte’s affordable housing supply is dwindling, having lost 28,000 units in the last five to eight years.

Time Out Youth will use some funding for ‘Welcome Home’ packages for youth that are moving into a home for the first time which could include basic appliances and cleaning supplies.

Other proposed projects at Time Out Youth include kitchen and laundry room renovations.

With a vision to inspire inclusive communities where all young people are equally empowered to reach their true potential, this gift to Time Out Youth will help achieve their mission of creating safe spaces for self-expression through leadership, community support and advocacy.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at