QWELL HAS 3 GOALS
Engage every LGBTQIA+ and Ally person in Greater Austin, across differences in age, race, gender, class, orientation, etc.
Connect each LGBTQIA+ community member with resources they can use to improve their wellbeing.
Support our partner LGBTQIA+ organizations and businesses so they can grow to meet our diverse community’s needs.
QWELL Community Foundation began as a series of conversations about why Austin, with the nation’s third-largest LGBTQIA+ population, had no community center connecting residents with each other and the affirming resources they need.
Dozens of organizations and hundreds of community members contributed to the discussion.
As LGBTQIA+ leaders and residents shared visions for how a community center could help, it became apparent that Greater Austin’s LGBTQIA+ community was missing other key infrastructure. We needed to go deeper.
More than 3,500 LGBTQIA+ residents have participated in QWELL’s annual Queer Wellbeing Study, conducted in collaboration with researchers at UT Austin and Dell Medical School’s Population Health Department.
From our research, we learned:
- Only 17% of respondents felt like valued members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
- More than half did not feel like part of the community at all.
- Their own Mental Health and Physical Health were their top two concerns.
- 26% of respondents who answered the question said they had experienced suicidal thoughts within the seven days before the survey.
- Austin/Travis County does not have enough affirming, competent healthcare providers to serve people of color or LGBTQIA+ people.
Respondents reported experiencing racial and anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination in housing, employment, and healthcare, as well as challenges with housing affordability and transportation.
We began building the missing infrastructure to meet these needs:
- Developing a database of LGBTQIA+ friendly businesses so we can refer residents to affirming resources in their own neighborhoods.
- Launching a competition to design a portable “Austin Outpost” Pop-Up LGBTQIA+ community center.
- Working with Central Health, Travis County’s safety-net health system, to launch an initiative to train and certify their entire network as LGBTQIA+ competent and affirming. This will be the first “Healthcare Equality
Index” project to address Intersex health concerns.
- Supporting the City of Austin’s LGBTQIA+ Quality of Life Advisory Commission in securing up to $500,000 in funding over five years for LGBTQIA+ mental health care.
- Developing new digital tools to make it easy for any LGBTQIA+ resident to find the information and resources they need without leaving their home.
- Creating FreePrideFlag.com to keep Pride alive during the Covid-19 pandemic and to help us map where to locate Austin Outposts.
Austin Outpost LGBTQIA+ Community Centers
QWELL’s plan would plant multiple gathering places around Greater Austin where LGBTQIA+ residents could find friends and connect with resources.
Make Affirming Mental Health Care Available to All LGBTQIA+ Austinites
QWELL’s plan supports existing therapy providers, increases their number, and provides text-based counseling on-demand.
End LGBTQIA+ Loneliness and Isolation in Greater Austin
QWELL plans to create a network of small, intergenerational, diverse teams so every LGBTQIA+ resident has a chosen family.
PRIDE IN AUSTIN
We need centers so extraordinary and uniquely ours that every LGBTQIA+ and Ally person will want to visit often, participate in programming, and brag about it to their friends.
QWELL’s work helps all organizations serving local LGBTQIA+ residents. Austin has vibrant organizations serving various segments of our community. We need to help them grow by connecting them with more funding, volunteers, and clients.
YOU CAN HELP CREATE A FUTURE FOR OUR LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY THAT IS GREATER THAN ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
Become a monthly donor of $5 or more to do the most good.
Many hands make light work!
There are many ways you can pitch in.
MEET OUR LEADERS
Meet the people behind QWELL who make it all happen!
QWELL is a fund of Austin Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.