QWELL HAS 1 MISSION:
Cultivate an LGBTQIA+ culture of health and self-actualization in Greater Austin.
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.
Social Determinants of Health
QWELL addresses the “drivers of health:” social, economic, and environmental conditions that influence individual and group differences in LGBTQIA+ health and life outcomes.
Inclusive Healthcare Access
QWELL works to maximize access to LGBTQIA+-inclusive, competent healthcare providers in Greater Austin by connecting local health systems, large and small, with opportunities to improve their standard of care. (link)
QWELL must use currently-available technology in innovative ways to achieve our goal to anonymously connect every one of Greater Austin’s hundreds of thousands of LGBTQIA+ residents with resources and each other.
Population Health Research
QWELL’s annual wellbeing study, conducted in collaboration with researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, is the only ongoing source of data about the health of the nation’s third-largest LGBTQIA+ population.
People-Centered Urban Design
QWELL plans to build mixed-use developments that include affordable housing, restaurant, retail, and event space as well as LGBTQIA+ community centers.
QWELL Community Foundation began as a series of conversations about why Austin, with the nation’s third-largest LGBTQIA+ population per capita, 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 6,500 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:
- Fewer than 1/5 of respondents feel like valued members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
- 1/2 do not feel like part of a community at all.
- Their own Mental Health and Physical Health were their top two concerns.
- 1/5 of respondents who answered the question said they had experienced suicidal thoughts within the seven days before the survey.
- 1/2 have had a negative healthcare experience related to their LGBTQIA+ identities.
- 1/3 do not seek medical care even when sick to avoid negative healthcare experiences.
- 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 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 our community centers.
LGBTQIA+ Community Centers
QWELL plans to build multiple gathering places around Greater Austin where LGBTQIA+ residents could find friends and connect with resources. MORE
Make Inclusive Health Care Available to All LGBTQIA+ Austinites
QWELL is working to maximize access to LGBTQIA+-inclusive healthcare providers in Greater Austin. MORE
End LGBTQIA+ Social Isolation
QWELL’s “Queering/Social” events offer every LGBTQIA+ resident a small, intergenerational, diverse support system focused on healing and community. MORE
QWELL’s Colors of Pride Gathering is Greater Austin’s only community-building Pride celebration of all LGBTQIA+ people of color and our diverse backgrounds and cultures. MORE
Austin has a vibrant constellation of organizations serving various segments of our local LGBTQIA+ community. QWELL will help them grow by connecting them with more funding, volunteers, and clients. MORE
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.