2020 Grant Recipient

2020 Grant Recipient

2020 Grant Recipient

2020 Grant Recipient

To date, wayOUT has partnered with 10 organizations that have or will recieve grants issued by wayOUT by the end of 2020. These organizations serve the young LGBTQ+ population in their local communities. By serving as a conduit for donors and our grant recipients, wayOUT is able to assist raising the national profile of these organizations and bring attention to the immediate and direct needs of LGBTQ+ youth in these communities.

wayOUT’s grant applicants have increased nearly 100% year over year. Each grant issued is at the discretion of the recipient and the needs of their own community.  As a result, the programs within these grant recipient organizations vary for each center allowing the funds we to have a broad and impact across many areas of focus.

These areas of focus from our Grant Recipients include:

  • General LGBTQ+ Youth Services & Programs.

  • School Based Resources

  • Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

  • Housing & Homelessness

  • LGBTQ+ Competant Healthcare

  • Transgender Youth Support & Services

  • At-risk Intersectional LGBTQ+ Youth of Color

  • Mentoring, Tutoring & Career Building

  • LGBTQ+ Affirming Transitional Foster Services



Encircle is a non-profit organization with the mission to bring the family and community together to enable our LGBTQ+ youth to thrive.



In response to the number of LGBTQ youth and young adults experiencing alienation, coupled with Utah’s youth suicide rate increasing each year nearly four times faster than the national average, Stephenie Larsen—a mother of six—got to work and created Encircle, an LGBTQ family and youth resource center, in 2016. Located in Provo, Utah, the nonprofit’s mission is to embrace and sustain every LGBTQ+ youth, every family, and every community.

The organization does so through its life-saving programs and therapeutic services aimed at creating connection and inspiring self-acceptance, while strengthening understanding and dialogue between LGBTQ individuals and family members. Last year, Encircle provided services to over 8,000 individuals and assembled a team of 600+ volunteers from the surrounding community to contribute to the organization’s efforts. The nonprofit also hosted Utah’s first-ever statewide LGBTQ summit, bringing youth together from across the state.

In order to reach even more LGBTQ youth and their families, the center is expanding into both Salt Lake City and southern Utah. With the support of wayOUT, Encircle’s team hopes to serve an additional 13,000+ individuals in these communities that would benefit from the organization's inclusive approach.

No Sides. Only Love. 

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wayOUT NYC has selected In Our Own Voices as their 2020 Grant Recipient. As IOOV is based in Albany, NY this partnership marks the first time that a wayOUT chapter has chosen a Grant Recipient in their home state.

In Our Own Voices was formed as an intersectional arm of four social action groups before become an autonomous organization. These organizations initially came together to encourages human and civil rights groups to broaden their work to include the needs of LGBTQ+ people of color. Today, the organization works to address these challenges directly in their own community in Albany.



To work for and ensure the physical, mental, spiritual, political, cultural and economic survival and growth of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people of color communities.







JASMYN supports and empowers LGBTQ young people by creating safe space, providing health and wholeness services and offering youth development opportunities, while bringing people and resources together to promote equality and human rights.



JASMYN stands for Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network. They proudly celebrated their 25th Anniversary in Jacksonville in 2019!

During their first 25 years, JASMYN has continuously worked to help the community be a more welcoming place for young people. Through policy and partnerships, listening and action, this organization has created a reputation for working with others to weave a beautiful rainbow fabric that is the safety net for LGBTQ youth. But as fabric is likely to do, this one tears in places, separates at the seams in others.  In short, their work is still necessary and they see greater possibilities for that which they seek: equality and human rights for all.

JASMYN partners with organizations across Northeast Florida to accommodate the needs of LGBTQ+ youth. They refer or introduce young people to other providers for services they don’t provide, such as primary care, behavioral health counseling and shelter. This community safety net is important to the wholeness they strive to provide their youth and JASMYN is proud to be a thread in it.

JASMYN's vision is to make its comminoty a place where LGBTQ+ yputh are affirmed and calued and have the self-love, pride, and tools to thrive.

JASMYN'S comments on the impact of COVID-19, their programs, and their youth in response to wayOUT's emergency COVID-19 fund.



The Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC) provides a safe, supportive and affirming space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ+) people and their allies in Birmingham, Alabama.



The Magic City Acceptance Center opened in the Spring of 2014 as the first and only direct-service provider to LGBTQ+ youth in Alabama. By 2017, the center had grown 423% to serve over 540 youth through programs such as drop-in hours, free counseling, support groups, movie nights, art programs, self-care workshops, access to community resources and so much more.


With all this growth, the center staffing had not changed. Only one full-time staff member was available each day, supported by a single part-time employee who facilitated many of the programs. With the support of wayOUT, and the nearly $120,000 raised at the Inaugural Gayla, the Magic City Acceptance Center has been able to launch its homeless youth program. Envisioned and created in 2015, the Magic City Acceptance Homes program will serve LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness through immediate housing assistance and support. Youth will be paired with affirming households who offer meals, transportation, a private bathroom, and a roof over their head, in addition to counseling and case management services.

Google commissioned a series of short documentaries for Pride and profiled Lily as she attends queer prom at the Magic City Acceptance Center in 2017. 

MCAC'S comments on the impact of COVID-19, their programs, and their youth in response to wayOUT's emergency COVID-19 fund.



one•n•ten is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving and assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 14 to 24. From weekly discussion groups to fun, social networking events, we create a safe space, mentally and physically, for youth of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. We also offer resources to promote healthy choices and living.


Youth with particular needs have the option to speak with peers or volunteers one-on-one, in a supervised setting. We provide youth with a variety of tools and opportunities to improve self-esteem and self-acceptance.



To serve LGBTQ+ youth and young adults ages 11-24. We enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices










To empower, connect, educate, and advocate for the LGBT community of the Mid-South.


In 1989, the plans and dreams of numerous LGBTQ Mid-Southerners became a reality. Through their hard work and sacrifice, they built an “oasis in the desert of our struggle.” The charter for this new organization, known as the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center, became effective on Feb 23, 1989. Over the years, they’ve had several homes, great triumphs and some lean times. But through it all, the passion, commitment and vision of the community has prevailed. 

For more than 27 years OUT Memphis was known as Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center or MGLCC. Eventually they realized that the name did not reflect their full identity…as individuals, as an agency, or as a community. We soon realized that no combination of letters would do full justice to our diversity, no acronym would encompass every identity or orientation. So they decided that, rather than focus primarily on their individual identities, they would focus on their vision, their mission, their hopes and dreams. Thus they become OUT Memphis: The LGBTQ Center for the Mid-South.

Regardless of how we identify as individuals, we all seek a world where we can live openly, honestly and authentically. We desire a community that celebrates and respects us fully as a part of the whole. We expect and deserve to be as open about who we are and whom we love as we choose to be. Working to make that world a reality is what OUT Memphis does every day.

Whether or not you’ve ever walked through their doors or attended one of their events, they continue to work to make life better for ALL in the Memphis and LGBTQ+ communties.

wayOUT's 2019 grant benefitted OUTMemphis' Metamorphosis Project, their new youth homeless and housing facility.



To create opportunities with LGBTQ+ young people to build their vision for a positive future.


Named in honor of a resilient Detroit icon, Ruth Ellis Center works to create a supportive environment and community with LGBTQ+ young people.

Founded in 1999, Ruth Ellis Center (REC) has established a national reputation for quality and innovation in providing trauma-informed services for lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth, and young adults, with an emphasis on young people of color, experiencing homelessness, involved in the child welfare system, and/or experiencing barriers to health and wellbeing.

REC’s core programs include:  (1) Ruth’s House, a 9-bed residential foster care program; (2) Drop-In Center, emergency food/clothing, housing support, peer support groups; (3) Health & Wellness Center serving individuals ages 7-30 with fully integrated primary and behavioral health services; (4) Family Preservation home-based services to stabilize/prevent LGBTQ+ children from entering foster care; and (5) The Center for Lesbian and Queer (CLQ) Women and Girls Program opened in Jan 2019 and it serves Lesbian/Queer women and girls ages 13-30. REC is projected to break ground in 2020 on a new 43 units of 1-bedroom apartment building, a Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) complex in the Detroit Piety Hill neighborhood.


The REC provided over 5200 units of integrated services to 520 unique young people who identify as LGBTQ+ in 2019.


The REC Center for Lesbian & Queer Women & Girls Q served 63 unique young Queer women in 2019.

The grant from wayOUT will support the CLQ.

Ruth Ellis, 1998



To support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth by offering vital programs, fostering unconditional acceptance, and creating safe spaces for self-expression through leadership, community support and advocacy.


Time Out Youth founder, Tonda Taylor, grew up in Charlotte but left in her teens to move to New York City. It was the 1960s, and she saw NYC as a place where her sexuality would be embraced. 20 years later, Tonda returned to Charlotte to care for her brother with HIV, and was distressed to learn that not a single program or support group existed for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. Along with a small group of social workers, educators, physicians and clergy, Tonda formed Time Out Youth. On April 8, 1991, the doors opened to four gay and lesbian youth for their first weekly discussion group.

They may have started with four, but in 2017 Time Out Youth helped over 5000 LGBTQ+ youth in the greater Charlotte area through programming and services that include mental and sexual health counseling, discussion groups (IRL and online), emergency financial assistance, host home programs, and special events like LGBTQ prom and campOUT, a week-long summer camp for LGBTQ youth. 


Time Out Youth hopes to build a permanent 10-bed shelter for homeless LGBTQ+ youth in Charlotte. 


  • The Center had 946 unduplicated youth participating in Center programs and events. 

    • Additional youth were also connected without outside of the Center through our outreach to Gay Straight Alliance groups in middle and high schools, as well as our presence tabling at youth and community events. 

  • 329 youth visited the Center for the first time in 2019.

  • The Center provided additional food resources to 72 youth.

  • Laundry and Shower services were utilized in the Center by 40 youth.

  • Our Life Essentials Closet provided basic hygiene and toiletry items to 87 youth.

  • The Center provided over $6,000 in financial assistance to youth in housing and employment case management, 



Youth Oasis was founded as Baton Rouge Alliance for Transitional Living in 1998 by members of local social service agencies and universities who saw the need for a transitional living program for young adults aging out of foster care. In 2002, a basic emergency shelter was added to provide support to at-risk youth ages 10-17. The organization become known as Youth Oasis in 2003 and officially changed its name in 2011.

In 2016, the transitional living program was expanded to include services unique to the LGBTQ+ community and branded “Diversity House”. Today, Youth Oasis remains true to its foundation of breaking the cycle of homelessness in our community and state by operating the foster youth shelter, transitional living center, and Diversity House.


To provide emergency and transitional housing, care, support, and advocacy for vulnerable youth who have been pushed to the margins in the Baton Rouge area. Fully & proudly inclusive, Youth Oasis is Louisiana's first LGBTQ+ affirming shelter for youth.



We’re here for youth and young adults, no matter their race, orientation or identity. Because a category or label should never define the care and opportunities they deserve.



Our youth come to us from situations where their inherent worth is questioned, unconditional love taken away, and basic opportunities withheld. We work to return wholeness by providing a safe space, educational opportunities, mental health services, skills training and unconditional compassion.



“Able to spring back after being compressed” – it’s what we strive for when caring for youth. It’s never, “Look at those poor children,” but always, “Look at all of the potential they possess.” 



Zebra Coalition is a network of organizations centered in Orland, which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBTQ+) ages 13 – 24.

With the funds granted by wayOUT, Zebra aims to meet the needs of more youth who turn to Zebra Coalition for assistance and to help advance their mission in the community. In order to achieve this goal, they needed to increase and improve their development activities by way of hiring a dedicated Development Manager to focus on fundraising, in order to secure the additional resources needed to achieve their goal:

  • In October 2019, Zebra Coalition hired their first ever Development Manager to oversee fundraising and development.

  • Development Manager has led 2 fundraising initiatives and raised the following amounts at those fundraisers: $37,000 (vs $30,000 goal) and $45,000 (vs $25,000 goal).

  • With just these two fundraising efforts, their organization is experiencing more financial stability and has been able to expand services to help meet the needs of the youth they serve. In May 2020, Zebra Coalition has plans to hire an Operations Manager who will oversee the drop-in center, allowing them to expand hours and open their facility on weekends.

  • Zebra Coalition has plans to expand their housing by 2021, which will allow more beds for youth. 



To support and inspire LGBTQ+ youth. Zebra Coalition assists young people facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability.

wayOUT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization seeking to empower LGBTQ+ youth to feel safe being who they really are. With 4 local chapters and an aggressive growth plan, wayOUT will invest in over 15 at-need LGBTQ+ youth centers by 2022.

wayOUT's tax ID: 82-320405

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