It's September and for many youth that means back to school. For some youth that participate in our programs it's just another month. That's because they have no home, no school and no support.
At Q Center we are working hard to change all that.
In partnership with Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and with your support we are providing 1:1 counseling and case management to better identify challenges and barriers to success. We continue to explore partnership that lower academic risk and encourage staying in school.
As a companion project - we know even some schools are not yet a safe space for LGBTQ youth. That is why we are partnering with organizations such as Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition, GLSEN, Cascade AIDS Project and many others to present Oregon's Queer Youth Summit this May.
We invite you to stay in partnership with Q Center as we continue our quest to create a safe space for LGBTQ youth to learn and grow. Your contribution through Global Giving and volunteer time ARE the difference.
Thank you for your continued support!
In our last report we told you about our efforts to open a new youth facility. We promised to make it an accessible, safe space welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied youth and young adults.
We did it!
On March 1st we open the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center on Sandy Blvd in Portland, Oregon. This 2,500 square foot facility sports a large open space for games, social time and even has room for a good sized stage. When you face the stage to the right is the "drag closet" where clothes, hair and make-up are put together for Friday night shows. To the left of the stage is the "salon". This special place is where participants can get a haircut, color, style and sometimes just get pampered.
The facility has two counseling rooms, shared office space for staff, an art room and a conference room. We also ensured there was plenty of room for the Bayard Rustin Library and a cyber cafe. Finally, my personal favorite was a major renovation allowed us to put in a full kitchen!
We strongly believe if you're hungry you cannot learn and if you cannot learn you will not make good decisions. Having a fully functional kitchen with a food pantry (in partnership with St. Vicient DePaul Food Bank) participants can prepare healthy, nutritious meals and snacks.
We are pleased to report that with the extremely generous support of donors like YOU, Aaron, Kathryn, Larry, Michael, Hanah and many, many others the move was a success and the space is beautiful and functional.
Now comes the challenge of maintaining the space. Your generous support will help with day-to-day expenses:
Your ongoing support especially through our monthly donor program, Sustaining the Q, is essential to our continued ability to serve sexual minority youth. We sincerely appreciate your generous financial contributions. You keep the doors open to a safe and inviting world for LGBTQ youth and young adults. Thank you!
Recently one of our volunteer - volunteer coordinators Lissy Richards sat down with Q Center to talk about why we matter to her. Lissy's story is moving and shows just why it's important we continue providing programs and services to those coming out, seeking support, interested in becoming mentors and those seeking to find community.
Q Center has also been busy developing youth and young adult programs and services. On February 1st, 2012 Q Center completed a merger that expanded our family both in staffing and programs.
Now able to call Q Center home is the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC), Multnomah County Bridge 13 program and Washington County Pride Project. We are proud to have stepped up and taken on the challenge of ensuring these important programs and services remain viable and accessible.
We have begun to establish a second facility to house these and other youth programs. We need your help now more than ever to help with the renovations necessary to make the site ADA compliant. Also, in planning the site we have designed a space to accommodate a kitchen area so that youth have a great opportunity to cook and create nutritious meals with fresh ingredients.
With your generous support we will open the second facility by March 15th and hold an open house on April 20th. I hope we can count on you to provide the funds needed to complete the ADA and kitchen facility renovations.
PS. Remember you can make a quick and easy $10.00 donation from your cell phone
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