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Out Youth is pleased to write in support of QWELL Community Foundation’s “Austin Outpost” LGBTQIA+ Community Center Pilot Project.
We have met with Clayton Gibson and QWELL leadership to understand their mission and the scope of the pilot project for an Outpost. Out Youth has also served in a consultative capacity during their formative months. We support QWELL’s vision to unite and support Austin’s LGBTQIA+ community, which is growing, geographically-dispersed and lacking a consolidated resource center to unify existing LGBTQIA+ support organizations and businesses in Austin.
We support QWELL’s plan to test the feasibility of this idea in 2020 by experimenting with a “pop-up outpost” LGBTQIA+ Community Center. Specifically, Out Youth sees the following benefits from the planned pilot project:
As Out Youth plans our capital campaign for the expansion of our established services and physical location, the pilot “pop-up outpost” will allow for critical marketing of Out Youth’s expanded capacity to serve LGBTQIA+ youth in Central Texas.
As we, separately and in conjunction with QWELL, assess the geographically specific needs of Austin’s LGBTQIA+ youth, we believe that in the long-term future, Out Youth will not be fully accessible nor successful in serving our constituent populations with a single, centralized location. To this end, we would benefit from understanding the success and data of QWELL’s “pop-up outpost” as it relates to our potential implementation of satellite support services and locations in the future.
As we see increased demand for our services that currently exceeds not only our capacity but also our funding, the QWELL outpost offers an additional way for Out Youth to promote our work in the community and garner additional support.
Austin’s entire ecosystem of organizations that serve LGBTQIA+ residents will benefit from the increased visibility and community engagement QWELL provides through the “Austin Outposts” and its other programs.
Please join Out Youth, our Board of Directors, and our staff in supporting QWELL’s plan to test this uniquely-Austin model with a “pop-up” pilot project.