This summer, make sure to check out some of the great programs OCYI partner, the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre, is running for local youth.
Queerios is a drop-in program for youth 12-18, who identify as LGBTQ+, focusing on social activities, positive mental health, skill-building, and connecting youth to resources in their community.
Welcoming approximately 15-17 youth from across the city each week, Queerios gathers on Thursday nights from 5-8 p.m. for unstructured evenings of art, sports, games, snacks, a full dinner and dessert. On-site counselling is also available.
Staffed entirely by people who identify as LGBTQ+, Chelsea Mackay, Program Coordinator for youth programs, likes that the youth of Queerios can see their future selves reflected in role models who are happy and successful.
Despite the obvious fun of Queerios, Chelsea is also frequently moved by watching the community that is being created. “I love that we are operating a space considered to be safe, welcoming and open by the youth. It is also satisfying to be able to make an immediate difference by offering a place where young people can eat, be themselves and be connected to information and resources.”
For those wanting to support Queerios, please consider getting involved, donating, or simply spreading the word! Learn more at Queerios' website.
This story is part of the June 2022 Ovation. This story is also available in French.