On Nov. 21, The Chicago Youth Worker Collective hosted the annual Friendsgiving Dinner and Youth Excellence Awards Ceremony in the Youth Space at The Center on Halsted. The event, now in its fourth year, is a welcoming celebration for LGBTQ homeless youth and their allies.
The evening featured a full-course traditional Thanksgiving dinner by Chef Shiane, a well-received acoustic performance from singer/songwriter Ashley Stevenson, a raffle and an awards presentation for members enrolled in the Center on Halsted Youth Program.
The event also included the participation of volunteers from Humble Hearts, who helped many of the homeless participants pick out donated clothing and essentials. Presided over by program facilitator Avi Bowie, the evening was light-hearted and festive despite the onslaught of freezing rain, plummeting temperatures and the first snowfall of the winter.
Photos and text by Vern Hester