Small Business Spotlight: New Alternatives

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

As the world struggles to maintain (and create) normalcy, and with millions of Americans out of work, we believe that supporting small businesses is a great way to take action and make a big impact. Every Saturday, WDID features a company that we love in the Small Business Spotlight series. This week, we're grateful and proud to highlight the work of New Alternatives.

New Alternatives

for LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth

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What is New Alternatives?

New Alternatives increases the self-sufficiency of LGBTQ+ homeless youth by enabling them to transition out of the shelter system to stable adult lives. We do this by providing long-term support, weekly case management, education services, life skills training, community-building recreational activities, opportunities for self-expression, and programs for HIV+ youth. Our guiding principles are those of harm reduction, youth development, and empowerment.

What is the story of your business?

Founded by Kate Barnhart in 2008, New Alternatives for LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth was acknowledged by the Federal Government and received a 501(c)3 - Tax Exempt Status in 2010.

How has Covid impacted your business? 

In response to COVID-19, all in-person Case Management/Support Group Activities have transitioned to virtual. To support the increased needs of the homeless at this time, New Alternatives mobilized its volunteers to provide “To-Go” meals 7 days a week. This new strategy replaced Sunday Evening Community Meals previously held onsite at Metro Baptist Church. 

What is the best way for people to help your business during Covid Closures?

  1. SUPPORT: To help support New Alternatives for LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth make your one-time or recurring fully tax-exempt donation HERE.

  2. BEYOND THE SHELTER (virtual event): On June 4, 2020, at 8 pm EDT, the stars of Broadway, TV, film, dance, and opera will unite for an Interactive Virtual Pride Kick-Off Party to raise money for New Alternatives, an organization supporting the LGBTQ+ homeless youth. Beyond the Shelter will stream live on New Alternatives Facebook page and on YouTube on June 4, 2020 at 8 pm EDT. You can find the link HERE.

*Action Step*: Find New Alternatives on social, buy tickets for their streaming event "Beyond the Shelter" and/or make a donation.

Where can we find you?:

Founder Kate Barnhart

Founder Spotlight:

Kate Barnhart, founded New Alternatives for LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth in 2008 and is currently Executive Director. She has worked with at-risk youth since 1994. In her free time, Ms. Barnhart rescues and rehabilitates stray cats.

Editor's note:

"Small Business" is a label that I've learned a lot about since beginning the spotlight series. My first impulse is to think of storefronts or product creators that sell things. But New Alternatives is a beautiful example of a small business that does not fit that mold. They often operate out of a church and their "customer" is not charged at all. The work New Alternatives does with LGBTQ+ homeless youth is beautiful and, sadly, more necessary than ever. If you've read this far, can you take your action step now and help support them? - David Kimple

Listen to the "What Do I Do?" Podcast today!

What Do I Do? is a podcast and blog about current events for folx who want to get involved. The goal of “What Do I Do?” is to use levity and brevity to identify approachable ways for folx to take action during a time where the world’s issues are very overwhelming. We talk about one thing happening in the world (social issues, politics, current events) and finish by identifying specific action steps a person can use to get involved whether they are physical, financial, emotional, or other.

"What Do I Do?" can be found at:

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