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2021 Grant Recipient

2021 Grant Recipient

2021 Grant Recipient

2021 Grant Recipient

To date, wayOUT has partnered with 14 organizations that have or will recieve grants issued by wayOUT by the end of 2021. 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


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Choosing Our Roots, a non profit organization, is the realization of a dream held by a coalition of youth, parents, mentors and community members searching for a more effective and lasting way to address homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth in Alaska.



Choosing Our Roots provides participants with more than just shelter: COR assists queer youth and young adults, ages 13 to 24, by building supportive, long-term relationships with volunteer Host Home families and community members.

In addition to providing safe homes and bringing together new families, COR coordinates with community partners to provide wrap-around services and build a network of support for its participants.

COR is currently offering services in communities throughout the Kenai Peninsula, the MatSu Bourough and Anchorage areas; however, COR’s strategic vision includes expansion to hub communities throughout Alaska so that all queer, Alaskan youth can have the supportive relationships and communities they need to thrive.

The next generation of Alaska’s queer leaders can already be found on COR’s Board of Directors and in its steering committees.

COR leads with the principles of Dignity & Respect, Empowerment, Cultural Relevancy, Community, & Hope.

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To provide the resources, tools, staff, and physical space to empower its members to achieve health and wellness goals, connect with one another and the broader community, advocate for justice against discrimination and inequality, and promote opportunity in a safe and empowering setting.



Though the Coastal Bend Pride Center exists as an independent center, in many ways it operates as a department within the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation.

The Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation (CBWF) is a grass-roots, community based non-profit organization, with a long standing history of providing services to those in our community that are often disenfranchised, taking on causes to fill gaps in services that no other agency provides. Current services include primary health care, mental health and substance abuse programs, infectious disease testing, education and linkage to treatment, and youth education to provide information on the dangers of drug use.

CBWF was founded in 1986, as the Coastal Bend AIDS Foundation, by a group of concerned citizens, who wanted to help people dying of AIDS. The group started by delivering food and blankets from the trunk of a car. As the disease became more chronic rather than acute, and funding became available for additional services, the agency grew to provide additional support services for those living with HIV and AIDS.

In 2015, CBWF became a federally qualified health center. We now are proud to be able to provide primary health care to anyone, regardless of the ability to pay or insurance status. Since its inception, CBWF has consistently pursued development of service programs that translated its mission statement from a planning concept into action, moving it towards the reality of a seamless continuation of health care and support services for those most in need.

The Coastal Bend Pride Center recognizes intersectional components of identity and supports social justice efforts for all.


The Coastal Bend Pride Center is an LGBTQIA+ Community Center for all 12 counties of the Coastal Bend. It is the first and only one of its kind south of San Antonio, will foster LGBT community growth and will strengthen community bonds.

The Center will provide a welcoming space where people can connect with one another, advocate for themselves and for broader social justice, and utilize community resources.

Coastal Bend


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.

In Our Own Voice


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.



The Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition works to ensure that LGBTQ2+, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming students from across Mississippi can attain a safe and inclusive, high-quality education free of discrimination and bullying.




MSSC envisions a Mississippi where students, regardless of real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, have equal protections and the opportunity to grow and learn in a safe environment.

MSSC offers student programs and opportunities to help LGBTQ+ students make connections and broaden their horizons. They help find and build a community of acceptance and support. Through these programs, MSSC provides students with opportunities and resources to celebrate themselves and their identities while also making connections with other LGBTQ+ youth, adults, and allies.

MSSC provides teachers with trainings and resources to ensure their LGBTQ+ students feel welcome and accepted in the classroom and other environments.



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.

Ruth Ellis Center


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, 

Time Out Youth


To provide affirming spaces for LGBTQI+ and ally youth up to the age of 24 through direct support, leadership development, and community engagement.


We Are Family began in April 1995 under the direction of Tom Myers (1940-2016), the father of a gay son. Tom recognized the need for support for LGBTQI youth, and WAF was born from the love of a father for his son. WAF initially focused on the use of direct mail to provide constructive information to people and community leaders that LGBTQI youth would normally seek out for counsel and support. The staff sought out speaking engagements whenever possible, at churches and other public places to spread a message of understanding and acceptance. In early 1997, WAF began to offer direct services (SafeSpace) to LGBTQI youth in the Tri-County area through a weekly peer support group.

WAF's vision is that LGBTQI+ and ally youth feel empowered to find their places in the world, in their families, and in their communities.

They are change agents lifting voices and shifting culture by upholding these values:

1). Affirmation. WAF provides affirming spaces to LGBTQI+ youth to identify and self-express freely.

2). Intersectionality. WAF honors intersectional experiences through diverse programming and organizing.

3). Community-building. WAF engages their community through partnerships and cultivates community-care through self-care.

Youth Oasis


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.

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