Affirmations announced plans this week to re-launch its annual campaign designed to keep center youth alcohol-free and is counting on area bar and restaurant owners to help out. The center is asking the managers and owners of Ferndale establishments to join the campaign by signing a pledge of support. All participating businesses will receive window clings to display in their windows.
As one of the hotspots for LGBTs, Ferndale is the perfect place to start. Whether boasting gay nights, girls nights or both, nearly every bar or restaurant in Ferndale is likely to cater to this population niche and will likewise be a magnet for queer youth looking for connection and community.
“Access to alcohol is one of the key factors influencing the rate of underage drinking,” said Director of Programs Kim Phillips-Knope. “With this initiative, we hope to gain the support of local business and limit access to alcohol for youth.”
LGBT communities have historically gathered in bars, one of the few spaces where to meet someone and form relationships. With more social outlets being created every day, the social scene for LGBT is certainly changing, but the bar-hopping draw is still a strong one for young people. Affirmations is one of the alternatives for youth.
Affirmations offers a range of support and social activities for youth and has provided services for hundreds of youth each year. Its “Cross the Line” peer outreach team, led by members of the youth program, will be visiting bars and restaurants in July and August to ask their help in making the campaign a success.
“Ferndale business people are very community-minded and we’re looking forward to working with them to help keep our youth safe,” said Phillips-Knope.