A sunburned kid seeking cool air for a few minutes. A teen using the computer to apply for jobs.
While the LGBT Visitor Center in Miami Beach is primarily the center of the city’s tourism, its rainbow flags have also become a signal to gay teens living on the street that it’s a safe haven.
Karen Brown, the executive director of the center, said she has about a dozen homeless teens, both straight and LGBT, come into the center on a regular basis to apply for jobs at the computer center, charge their cell phones, cool off, or get snacks. When she first started, she naively gave them some cash to take the bus. She quickly learned the kids weren’t using it for that.
“I can’t be mad at them for trying to survive,” she said. “You still have to be compassionate.”