WASS Treats 32 LGBTQ people to an amazing SPAC Experience

Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs was fortunate enough to be able to treat 32 LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 people to a tasty dinner at El Mexicano Restaurant and a performance of the Philadephia Orchestra Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday, August 10th.

Of these 32 guests there were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and their straight allies attending. The ages ranged from 14 to 68 – the largest cluster were LBGTQ youth between 14 and 18. Most asked to not be photographed for fear that if their photos were seen they would be bullied at school. These LGBTQ youth live right here in The Capital Region and they want support and acceptance! This is why Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs exists. WASS raises money and awareness for LGBTQ people who are at risk or homeless with the specific emphasis on LGBTQ youth.

Thank you Elizabeth Sobol and SPAC for donating the 32 tickets to see the movie UP along with The Philadephia Orchestra to The Pride Center and to GLSEN for bringing your guests to attend.

WASS Supports 2019 Saratoga Springs Pride Festival

WASS participated in its second Saratoga Pride Festival on Sunday June 16th selling Angels wings to raise crucial funds for at-risk LGBTQ youth as well as raising awareness to the problems this demographic faces.

It was a well attended event aside from the torrential rain storms and these “you are loved” postcards from children of the United Methodist Church and the organization “Hugs from Mom” really helped to elevate the level of love and support shown at the event for our local LGBTQ+ community.

Thanks to WASS Board members Steve Rosenblum & Mary Jo Driscoll for representing!

Whispering Angels Attends 2nd Capital Pride

Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs proudly participated in its 2nd Capital Pride on Sunday, June 9th and raised awareness and funds to support WASS’ mission to help LGBTQ youth who are at risk and/or homeless in the Capital District, Saratoga County and Southern Adirondack areas.

Back by popular demand, WASS sold Rainbow Angel Wings to happy pride participants to appoint them as “Whispering Angels” to support the cause.

WASS also participated in the Pride March alongside Saratoga Pride members including Saratoga Mayor Meg Kelly.

Thanks all who donated to WASS and supported Pride!

Whispering Angels 2nd Annual Sleep Out A Success

On April 6, 2019 Whispering Angels of Saratoga, partnering with Teri Wilhelm, GLSEN – New York Capital Region Chapter, Karen Gregory Shelters of Saratoga & Code Blue Saratoga, Perry Junjulas, Albany Damien Center, Keegan Burke, Captain Community Human Services, Meg Kelly, Mayor of Saratoga and Tara Gaston, Supervisor for Saratoga Springs held an amazing 2nd Annual Sleep Out to raise awareness and funds for essential services to support at-risk LGBTQ youth.

The VIP reception was 50 strong, including some who also slept outside in tents to support the cause.

We heard wonderful speeches from our partners that spoke of the real issues faced by LGBTQ at-risk youth in the greater NY Captain Region, and the fact that all of our organizations including other agencies of support must work together to be a community to support the community. We need to support these youth with safe places to sleep and other essential services necessary for their survival. We need to educate people on the problem and how important it is for families to support their children regardless of how they identify or who they love. Otherwise, these youth may end up in the sex or drug trade, in many cases within 24 hours of being on the streets.. the streets of Saratoga, Albany, Glens Falls, Clifton Park, Lake George – the risk is the same across the region.

And, we are happy to report we raised well over $12K to help get these youth on the right track to have the best lives possible!

We’d like to thank all our generous donors, and Hatties Restaurant for donating their famous fried chicken as well as Sweet Mimi’s for their donated delicious deserts!

– Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs Board

Whispering Angels Celebrates its Inaugural Year at 2nd Annual Garden Party

Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs hosted its 2nd Annual Garden Party on Saturday June 30th, and oh what a garden party it was with a gathering of over 60 friends and family as well as important LGBTQ Organizations from the greater NY Capital Region, such as GLSEN – New York Capital Region Chapter, Captain Community Human Services, and Albany Damien Center coming together to support LGBTQ at-risk and homeless youth and celebrate the first year of Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs.

We’d also like to thank our event sponsors: Albany Distilling Company, Book Mark Baking, and Lily and the Rose Gourmet Catering for helping to make this event so very special.

On behalf of the Whispering Angels Board (President Tas Steiner, Vice President Melanie Glennon, Treasurer Steve Rosenblum, Secretary Mary Jo Driscoll, Patricia Friesen, Andie Zajaceskowski, Sandra Winn and Ellen Beal we are grateful for all of our partners and sponsors for the past year, and look forward to continuing this journey to raise awareness and needed funds to help these youth in need!


Love, Simon Private Screening Event

On March 25th, Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs and GLSEN – New York Capital Region Chapter partnered to host empowering and heartfelt event to enable 90+ LGBTQA+ youth to together view a free and private screening of Love, Simon at Bow Tie Cinemas with a fun and festive after-party at Buddha Noodle.

It was such a privilege to witness these high school students react to a movie about coming out – the students were rooting, cheering, yelling, and crying. And, parents in the audience were just as participatory.

It was an honor and a privilege for WASS to support this event and to partner with GLSEN.

Whispering Angels First Sleep Out A Success

On December 2, a number of Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs board members and volunteers endured a frigid December night sleeping outside in an effort to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness among LGBTQ youth. Just as importantly, they raised over double the fundraising target from sponsors to support local non-profit organizations that provide services to these vulnerable youth.
 
LGBTQ youth account for 40 percent of our nation’s homeless children and young adolescents. Thrown out of their homes when they reveal their sexual orientation or true gender, LGBTQ youth suffer wrenching emotional trauma and the cruel physical realities of homelessness, including sexual predation and trafficking. Many are driven to prostitution and drug addiction.
 
Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs exists to raise awareness and funds to support underserved and at-risk members who are central to our efforts.
 
The Whispering Angels Sleep Out event began with a kick-off dinner for Sleepers, sponsors and friends. Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepson, out of town that evening, called in from New York City to praise the event, noting that Saratoga Springs and the NYS Capital Region are deeply concerned about the homelessness that plagues many of our neighbors. Mayor Yepson detailed the efforts Saratoga Springs has undertaken to serve homeless men and women of all ages, and thanked WASS and other local organizations for providing crucial on-the-ground help. Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and Tara Gaston, Saratoga Town Supervisor-Elect also supported the event in-person and both spoke reinforcing Joanne’s messages.
 
Also in attendance were Samantha Annas, Street Outreach Manager and Brianna Phillips, Street Outreach Case Manager of C.A.P.T.A.I.N., a local non-profit that provides shelter, meals, and other services to our area’s homeless youth, and one of several local organizations that have received WASS grants. They explained C.A.P.T.A.I.N.’s mission and programming, and introduced two young women who had been in C.A.P.T.A.I.N.’s care. These young women spoke of lives spent in and out of shelters and foster homes, kicked out of their own homes because of their sexual orientation. With C.A.P.T.A.I.N.’s help they were able to find jobs and reunite with their families.
 
WASS is tremendously grateful to the volunteers and sponsors who made this first-annual sleep-out a success. A very special thanks goes to Pam Perry & Karla Austen who so generously donated their home, and several tents, to the effort.
      

  

 

 

 

Sleep Out to Raise Awareness for Homeless LGBTQ Youth

Saratogian article, November 29 2017

Sleep-out to raise awareness for homeless LGBTQ youth

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> Dozens will experience the feeling of being homeless in efforts to raise money and awareness for at risk and homeless LGBTQ youth this weekend.

Whispering Angels of Saratoga Springs, a non-profit established earlier this year, will host a sleep-out in the backyard of a Saratoga Springs residence where more than 40 people are committed to sleeping outside, each raising funds to benefit organizations like CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services in Clifton Park.

“Any kind of funding that goes into support on-the-street services to identify youth or in homeless situations or at high-risk situations can only benefit these kids because then you get professionals on the street, working with the youth directly, doing case management, finding housing solutions, finding alternative ways to connect them back to the community for positive support,” said associative executive director Andy Gilpin.

About 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ, which serves as the initial focus of Whispering Angels.

“A lot of these kids couch surf. They may not use the homeless shelters that are there,” said Whispering Angels vice president Melanie Glennon. “They actually send social workers into the woods to help them and give them what they need and provide the services they do and they definitely have a need for more funding.”

In 2016, CAPTAIN’s street outreach program, where social workers literally go to the streets to seek at risk and homeless youth, connected with nearly 3000 youth, most being seen several times, throughout the Capital Region. CAPTAIN helped 68, ages 13-21, off the street.

In 2015, CAPTAIN’s street outreach program, connected with 4600 youth, most being seen several times. CAPTAIN helped 54, ages 13-21, off the street.

This year’s numbers aren’t in yet, but Gilpin expects an increase because of a grant that allowed more staff hiring for the outreach program.

CAPTAIN also houses 13-to-17 year-old children in a youth-shelter program.

In 2016, 108 children came to the shelter, three of which identified as transgender.

In 2015, 109 children came to the shelter, eight of which identified as transgender.

A lesbian couple from Gloversville used to be homeless. They will speak at the event Saturday night.

“It’s really attributed to CAPTAIN and their program,” Glennon said. “I think that’s a really good example of what this is trying to do, and we want to be able to have more stories like that, and that’s our goal. The more stories we can bring to light… I think that’s part of our [mission]. It’s not just giving money, but raising awareness to something I don’t think people know a lot about.”

For more information, log on to whisperingangels.us.