Make a Tax Deductible Donation to Support Zebra Coalition Today

Posted on: December 23rd, 2013


Tony Shamro has faced many challenges in his short life of 21 years — including frequent moves between multiple states due to his parents’ divorce, 13 facial surgeries resulting from a cleft lip and palate and coming out to his family as a gay youth. Last year, a relative in Central Florida threw Tony out of the house when he reached out to others in the community for support. He was alone and homeless with no support system and nowhere to turn for guidance. 

There are hundreds of others’ stories like Tony’s in our community. In fact, 42 percent of homeless youth are LGBT+ and 26 percent of LGBT+ youth who come out to their parents are told to leave home. Once they are out on the streets alone, their situation leads to many other issues and obstacles to overcome at a very young age.


Fortunately for Tony, and other LGBT+ youth in Central Florida who have faced rejection because of their sexual orientation, the Zebra Coalition is here to offer support when it is needed the most.


The Zebra Coalition is the only organization in Central Florida that can provide a full continuum of services to LGBT+ youth, ages 13 to 24.


It is a unique network of Central Florida social service providers, government agencies, schools, and colleges and universities. Each of the 21 Zebra Coalition member organizations provides essential services in various ways, yet none of them can provide a full continuum of services alone.


For Tony, that support is seen through services such as counseling; food, clothing and emergency and short-term housing; support groups and medical support; education, transportation and employment assistance.


The Zebra Coalition House, which serves as the organization’s drop-in center, and opened in 2012, offers a safe and supportive environment for LGBT+ youth ages 13 -24. Youth can find case management and mental health counseling; medical services and care; a food, hygiene and clothing bank; drug and alcohol addiction counseling; continuing education and employment assistance; transportation; aftercare and ongoing counseling; and intervention-peer support.


Since it opened last year, 253 individual youth have participated in activities at the drop-in center and 2,500 youth visits have occurred. Since 2010, 128 youth have received housing, case management and counseling services from the Zebra Coalition and since 2012 more than 6,600 youth have received resources and education through outreach programs.


The average direct cost to manage one Zebra Coalition youth for one month who is receiving housing, case management and counseling services is approximately $500.

Your generous support is needed now to help Tony and others like him who have their entire support system ripped out from under them by their own family. And because of the generosity of an anonymous donor, any monetary gifts up to $25,000 will be matched if we receive them by December 31 of this year.


We sincerely thank you for your past support and ask you once again to contribute to a local organization that is caring for our youth in Central Florida who have been rejected by their own families.


We hope that you can make a monetary donation by December 31, so your contribution can be doubled by by the generous gift of our anonymous donor. If we reach our goal of $25,000 raised, we automatically receive an additional $25,000 to help us continue providing the critical continuum of services for our at-risk youth.

Youth, like Tony, tell us that their journey with the Zebra Coalition has been a life-changing experience and often remind us that family and home isn’t just a place, it’s the people who support you.


Please click here to donate today.


We wish you a very happy holiday season!


Dexter signature

Dexter Foxworth

Director, Zebra Coalition


Scott's signature

Scott Bowman

Board Chair, Zebra Foundation for Youth, Inc.


Zebra Foundation for Youth, Inc. is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Zebra Foundation for Youth, Inc.’s registration number issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Consumer Services under Chapter 496 of the Florida Statutes is CH-37413. The Foundation engages no professional solicitors and receives 100% of all contributions. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE OF FLORIDA.