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Sunday, November 25, 2012

NEWS: Drop-in Center Welcomes LGBTQ Youth, Adults and Allies!

Drop-in Center Welcomes LGBTQ Youth, Adults and Allies! 

WHO: OUTreach Ogden
WHAT: a drop-in center for LGBTQ youth and their friends and allies,
WHEN Wednesdays and Thursdays: 3:30pm to 8:00pm for ages 14 -23 
WHERE: 705 23rd Street, Ogden, Utah (lower level of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden)

Ogden OUTreach works to build happy, healthy lives in a safe and welcoming community for LGBTQ people and neighbors.

Thanks to community support, OUTreach has transitioned from a “drop in center” to a full service LGBT center for youth with educational classes, free services from licensed professional counselors, mentoring, a wide variety of guest speakers, activities and programs designed using best practices and with measurable outcomes to improve self-esteem, self-efficacy, provide for reduced risky behaviors, and to strengthen health, spirituality and educational capacity. Notable was a pilot program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services which selected OUTreach Resource Center as the only LGBT center for youth to participate in a ground-breaking program to teach healthy sexual relationships in conservative areas.
In addition, in 2012 alone, OUTreach Resource Center:
~ Held five community forums, building awareness of the problem of bullying and LGBT youth suicide (what one Health Department official describes as happening “Once a week, but officially, you know, it doesn’t happen here.”).  The forums culminated in a two day LGBT Youth Summit with 40 presenters, 30 exhibitors and 150 attendees and featured the debut presentation of Dr. Caitlin Ryan’s new Family Acceptance Project materials for LDS families.  Total attendance exceeded 1,000 persons from all of Utah ~ Started the “Safe and Sound” host home project in conjunction with Mormons Building Bridges.  Safe and Sound will match homeless LGBT (particularly Latter-day Saint) youth with welcoming (particularly Latter-day Saint) families.
~ Started a homeless youth resource pantry with supplies, clothing and food for youth experiencing homelessness.
~ Started the Utah Safe Schools Coalition in partnership with the Weber-Morgan Health Department, Utah Planned Parenthood, National Foundation Community of Caring and with members of several universities, including Weber State University, University of Utah, Utah State University and Brigham Young University.
~ A lead agency in a new state-wide coalition to address tobacco use among persons experiencing homelessness, particularly among LGBT youth and adults.
~ Utah State University doctoral student Rachel Peterson to increase educational and vocational capacity through classes, one-on-one mentoring and tutoring for low-income and homeless youth.
~ Started a unique Workout Addiction Recovery program with youth leadership to improve fitness and mitigate addictive behaviors in conjunction with a workout regimen inspired by an OUTreach youth (Jackson Carter) who is a current participant on The Biggest Loser television show, and the first openly gay contestant in the show’s history.
~ Began training police chiefs and officers in conjunction with the Department of Justice to address diversity concerns, hate crimes and victim trauma.
~ Working with local attorneys to provide a network of legal advice and services to LGBT and allied persons with expertise in specific LGBT legal concerns.

A project begun in 2005 by members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden has grown to become a stand alone, 501 (c)(3) organization which is the only community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied persons north of Salt Lake City, and the second LGBTQ Center in Utah.  OUTreach has been a safe haven for youth through adults during its seven years of operation, providing resources and support in a safe welcoming, comfortable environment inclusive of all orientations and expressions. OUTreach is also the model for over 20 centers for youth throughout the country, mostly in conservative areas. 

More information:
The Executive Director, Marian Edmonds, may be reached by phoning 801.686.4528 or medmonds@ogdenoutreach.org.
OgdenOUTreach.org • info@ogdenoutreach.org • 801.686.4528

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