Gay gardeners give to homeless youth

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With inches of snow covering fallow flower beds and vegetable gardens, members of the Alternative Garden Club have hung up their trowels and taken up fundraising. Over the winter holidays, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-friendly gardening group collected more than 1,000 items for Salt Lake City’s Homeless Youth Resource Center.

An outreach project maintained by Volunteers of America, Utah, the center serves youth ages 16–22. Over 40 percent of these youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or “non-straight.” The center provides a safe location for homeless youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities to eat, shower and launder clothing, and helps its clients with such tasks as obtaining jobs and housing, and seeking medical care. In the last fiscal year, the center assisted more than 830 homeless youth.

The Alternative Garden Club meets regularly and offers lectures, field trips and gardening tips for Utahns of all sexual orientations and gender identities who share an interest in social justice and gardening, horticulture and landscaping. Now in its 25th year, the club also regularly performs service projects such as the clothing drive for the Homeless Youth Resource Center.

For more information about the Alternative Garden Club, visit alternativegardenclub.com.

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