OK2BME Grow Grant, by Scott Williams
You may already have seen this story from last month in The Record announcing that we will be receiving a Grow Grant of $635,600 over the next three years from the Ontario Trillium Foundation! We are extremely grateful to be receiving these much-needed funds that will allow us to expand our work with the LGBTQ+ community through our OK2BME program.
These funds will allow us to:
- Increase our capacity to offer free counselling to LGBTQ+ young adults (aged 19-29).
- Expand our bi-weekly drop-in Youth Group which has reached capacity.
- Continue to run our annual GSA Conference and to allow more students to attend.
- Respond to more of the requests we receive for public education and consultation on LGBTQ+ issues.
- Create more blog and video content for ok2bme.ca
The need and risk in the Rainbow community is unparalleled in other populations and is a direct result of homo-, bi- and transphobia. The Rainbow Community reports experiencing higher levels of mental illness and addictions including suicide. LGBTQ+ people are frequently abandoned by their families and in the care of child welfare, not finishing school, experiencing poverty and often homeless. Our public education and communications work is designed to disrupt societal and community attitudes of homo-, bi- and transphobia and our individual, couple and family counselling and recreation supports decrease isolation, foster belonging, and support our LGBTQ+ neighbours in their journeys.
Our deepest thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their generous support of our work!