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Local United Way chapter gives $135 thousand grant to Affirmations for youth programming

By |2018-01-15T17:52:48-05:00September 11th, 2008|News|

Last week, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan announced it would be giving close to $135,000 over a three-year period to Affirmations in a grant to support its nationally-acclaimed Youth Services Program.
Since moving into a new building in 2007, Affirmations’ youth program has witnessed exponential growth with an even greater demand for resources.
Affirmations provides direct social and supportive services to young people via after-school drop-in programming Monday through Thursday afternoons and weekend programming every Friday and Saturday night until 10 p.m.
These programs address the issues outlined in the 2005 National School Climate Survey. In this survey, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network reported that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth face increasing problems at school, with over a third of students experiencing physical harassment due to their sexual orientation or gender expression. As a result, LGBT students often report lower grades, are more likely to skip school due to safety concerns, and have a higher drop-out rate and ensuing homelessness. They are also known to be one of the groups with the highest risk for suicide or suicide attempts, with one in every three LGBT youth attempting or committing suicide.
“Our Youth Services Program strives to provide programming and services that meet the unique social, supportive and life skills education needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people,” said Affirmations’ Youth Services Coordinator Laura Sorensen. “The United Way grant will allow us to further develop and expand innovative programs and services that foster leadership, create a sense of community, and allow for a safe space for these young people to express and explore their identities.”
The mission of United Way for Southeastern Michigan is to mobilize the caring power of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan to improve communities and individual lives in measurable and lasting ways.
Affirmations is the community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people and their allies. Open since 1989 and located in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, Affirmations provides a welcoming space where people of all sexual orientations, gender identities & expressions, and cultures can find support and unconditional acceptance, and where they can learn, grow, socialize and have fun. For more information, visit their Web site http://www.goaffirmations.org.
For more information about the Youth Services Program or to volunteer as a Young Adult Mentor, contact Laura Sorensen at 248-398-7105.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.