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Help A Foster Care Youth Activist Get Housing!

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Larry, known to the community as IAMQUEENS is a 22 year old Black Youth Civil Rights-Social Justice Activist who has aged out of the foster care system homeless with no resources and is currently living in a homeless shelter. Larry is seeking funds to secure a stable living environment as he continues to fight for the liberation of BIPOC Youth who have faced an intensified marginalization amidst a global pandemic, and global uprising. 

Larry, (IAMQUEENS)  has been fighting for our lives since a child. Larry has been living in a state of an emergency while making history in Southside Jamaica Queens & has been putting the whole Queens on his back by himself, PERIOD! It’s time we fight for him! Larry has received citations, proclamations, and award plaques in Queens, New York. As a youth activist he has been making history while living in a runway homeless youth shelter for youth who are houseless and youth who are undocumented immigrants that have been living and coming out of Cages, Due to ICE. Larry's shelter is in Manhattan New York City! 

The GoFundMe goal is currently set at $51,000; Here is the breakdown of expenses Larry needs for his survival: 

Background Information:

Larry Malcom Smith Jr., known as IAMQUEENS is a Black Youth Activist with roots embedded in civil rights, social justice activism within the community of Southside Jamaica, Queens. He began protesting at the age of 8 years old, after Sean Bell who was murdered by the New York Police Department in Larry's hometown and was shot 50 times. Sean Bell's story made Larry want to take a stand for holding police accountable.  

Being activated at such a young age, Larry did not choose to become an activist. If anything ACTIVISM Chose Larry, and he became activated at such a very young age. Larry then went on to spearhead his activism based on survival by advocating for marginalized communities across NYC, on an expansive level. However, Larry has faced multitudes of systemic blockades in his fight for survival that have barred him from accessing and obtaining a stable physical, and mental environment for himself as he continued to fight against the same systematic structures that have oppressed BIPOC communities across our city. 

At the age of 2, Larry entered the system of Child Services and has survived being processed through 23 foster homes including group homes, children centers, and covenant houses. In October of 2020, Larry approached the age of 21, the age foster youth in New York City is forced out of the foster care system. Larry, who believed he would be leaving the system with a robust system of resources and support from the ACS (Administration for Children’s Services), was faced with brutal realization.

Larry was given no more than a “your leaving”, and a Metrocard allowing a single round trip through the transit system during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Larry Was Homeless For 7 Months. Sleeping in parks, trains, busses, Larry even helped his friend who was homeless named Timothy Thomas! Larry and Timothy were homeless together. Unfortunately there are No other resources, guidance or support existed for him or Timothy! 

Larry has attempted to secure the tools needed for his survival, and from August/ September of 2020 until November 2020, he was able to secure a job placement as a Community Constituent Liaison for State Senator James Sanders Jr. In Southside Jamaica Queens, However his employer has denied Larry numerous pay cycles resulting in the lack of financial stability and eventually left Larry with no option but to no longer continue his employment. He was only granted two pay cycles of pay, despite him working for nearly 4 months. Senator James Sanders Owes Larry at-least 5 weeks of wages + more, and his office refuses to even give an apology to Larry.  Larry then started to stand up for himself and organized a rally and because of the rally then Larry got paid and announced this to the public. Larry then was paid but he had to expose senator james sanders to hold him accountable for not giving him his check on time, to be compensated. 

Did You Know ?

In a national study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania on the effect of COVID-19 on Foster Youth, the study found 55% of foster youth reported that they were food insecure, 72% reported an unstable financial situation that would not be stable for more than a month, 48% reported a negative impact on their employment obtainment, and 56% reported having significant levels of depression and anxiety. 

These reflected difficulties are just a few of the overwhelming experiences that Larry has continued to endure during these difficult times. However, Larry has enabled his voice, platform, and experiences to advocate for radicalized change within the Foster Care system for youth. 

Please Protect Black Children + Black Foster Youth !!!


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Rosedale, NY

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