Helping reduce energy costs improve profitability with environmental responsibility...
You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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LGBT Youth Resources: Making a Difference
LGBT youth face a number of obstacles when it comes to finding supportive communities and thriving as young adults: family rejection, institutional failure, bullying, and homelessness are all issues that leave LGBT youth in precarious situations. Finding social services that provide safe spaces and adults who understand the unique issues that come with being young and LGBT is often a frustrating process, and can leave LGBT youth feeling marginalized and cut off from vital resources.
Luckily, a number of national and local organizations are stepping in to meet the needs of LGBT youth that their families, schools, or communities are ill-equipped to provide. In addition to large organizations like the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services, these seven groups (and many others) are working within local communities to offer LGBT youth resources and ensure that they have access to the communities and services they need.
LGBT Youth Resources | 7 Organizations
Attic Youth Center
The Attic Youth Center is Philadelphia’s only organization exclusively dedicated to providing programs and services for LGBT youth. One of their main goals is to reduce the feeling of isolation that many young LGBT people experience, by fostering a sense of community and providing a space for LGBT youth to interact with their peers. Located in Center City Philadelphia, the Attic began as a weekly support group, but has grown into one of the country’s largest community centers over its 22-year history.
Castro Youth Housing Initiative
An offshoot of Larkin Street Youth Services, San Francisco’s Castro Youth Housing Initiative focuses its efforts on providing support and transitional housing for LGBT youth. Through the initiative, homeless LGBT youth can find housing, as well as a range of social services including substance abuse counseling, educational support, and employment training. The initiative is particularly focused on LGBT youth who have been ostracized from their families and communities and are not ready for other transitional housing programs.
Dreams of Hope
Founded in 2003, this Pittsburgh-based organization provides opportunities for LGBT youth and their allies to get involved in art through programs like theatriQ, a performance ensemble, and Qamp, and overnight summer camp. By presenting public programs to educate audiences about issues affecting queer youth, Dreams of Hope gives LGBT youth a safe, affirmative environment while providing educational opportunities for people who may not realize the struggles faced by LGBT youth.
Atlanta’s JustUsATL seeks to provide a safe space for LGBT youth, facilitating discussions through weekly forums, individual counseling, and social events. This group is truly innovative because it’s member-driven, empowering LGBT youth through opportunities to form the supportive communities and open dialogues they need to thrive, even when outside institutions are failing to serve them.
As one of Wisconsin’s leading providers of housing and social services, Pathfinders identifies LGBT youth who are at risk of becoming homeless due to family rejection or histories of running away. Through their Q-BLOK program, Pathfinders provides support and guidance, pairing LGBT youth with sponsors who provide encouragement in a positive, affirmative environment. Established in 2009, the program has an impressive record of success: 87% of Q-BLOK residents maintained permanent housing, and over 81% obtained or kept employment while they were enrolled in the program.
Project Fierce Chicago
This collective of social workers and youth advocates are working to establish housing in Chicago for LGBT youth. In August, Project Fierce achieved a major milestone by purchasing a house, which will soon be ready to house displaced LGBT youth. The collective estimates that 10-12 young adults will be able to live in the space, and plans to sustain the space financially by renting office space for a social justice nonprofit organization.
Thrive Youth Center
Focusing on homeless LGBT youth, the Thrive Youth Center has partnered with Haven for Hope to create a pilot program that provides inclusive housing for eight homeless and at-risk members of the San Antonio community. Through this partnership, LGBT youth are given private rooms and have access to educational resources, job training, and counseling. The Thrive Youth Center also pairs LGBT youth with Program Managers who mentor residents and create individual plans to address specific needs and help LGBT youth succeed.
Get Involved With LGBT Youth
While these are only a few of the organizations around the country focusing on LGBT youth, they demonstrate some of the innovative ways community centers and social services can address the needs of LGBT youth, combat prejudice, and provide vital support at a time when young people don’t know where to turn.
For members of the LGBT community looking to help out LGBT youth, volunteering with a local organization can provide excellent opportunities to impact the life of a young person: meeting someone who has dealt with similar struggles shows LGBT youth that they’re not alone, and for many, this is an important first step to a happy, successful life.