LGBTQ youth are resilient, talented, strong, smart, beautiful - and more.  Everything you might imagine a fabulous youth to be.  LGBTQ youth may - often, even - face unique and difficult challenges just because of who they are.  That's where we come in (and hope that you will join us).  

 

The Continuum of Care is all about empowering youth and those that love them to make things better, now - to address school safety, and bullying by students, teachers and staff.  

 

To prevent youth from becoming homeless, and to provide immediate and appropriate help for youth experiencing homelessness.  

 

To work to prevent LGBTQ youth suicide, depression and other mental and physical health issues that so often are the result of macro and micro aggressions that happen day after day after day.

 

And then there's faith - shouldn't each and every youth be able to decide for themselves what they believe, and not be told that God doesn't love them, because of who they are?  Oh - and family - when it works, it's one of THE BEST protective factors out there, but when families are rejecting, well, that's when suicide, homelessness, drug use, STD's and other negative things pile on.  There's more (below), but that's enough for now.  Join us?

 

 

 

 

More (The specifics):

 

The LGBTQ Youth Continuum of Care is a registered 501c3 domestic non-profit corporation.

 

Our Primary Goal: Reduce youth suicide and homelessness and improve safety for LGBTQ youth in Utah while creating a replicable, proven national model to save lives in every community.

 

Secondary Goals:  

Reduction of suicide risks for LGBTQ youth; 

Prevent youth homelessness and address existing youth homelessness; 

Improve school safety and address bullying;

Create and strengthen ties with conservative groups and church leaders for buy-in and assistance;

Create / expand safety net of Mormon families willing to support LGBTQ and at risk LDS youth.

 

Background:

Each year an estimated 5,000 youth experience homelessness in Utah.  Of those youth, approximately 40% identify as LGBTQ, and 60% from religiously conservative homes.  Utah has the 5th highest rate of youth suicide in the country, with suicide now as the leading cause of deaths.  LGBTQ youth attempt suicide 4 times more often than their straight peers; those children rejected by their parents have a risk of suicide 8 times greater.  62% of Utah LGBT youth report attempting suicide, almost all more than once, with almost every child having lost at least one friend to death by suicide.  Each episode of LGBTQ victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average.  86% of LGBT students report harassment at school, 28% of LGBTQ youth stop going to school because of being bullied.

 

Despite these consistent and harrowing statistics, a comprehensive, holistic approach to saving lives for LGBTQ youth still has not been developed, tested, and made available as a model for communities across the country.  Until now.  The groundwork in Utah is now complete to launch a continuum of care for LGBTQ youth that will be best practice and data driven, with statistically proven results that are measurable, replicable, and will have a demonstrated return on investment.

 

Staff:

 

 

Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, Director of the LGBTQ Youth Continuum of Care, is an expert in the intersection of faith and LGBT identities and practice, LGBT youth services, as well as LGBT youth suicide and homelessness. In 2013, Marian was named Person of the Year by Q Salt Lake for her visionary leadership in expanding services for LGBTQ youth in Utah, and in 2015 was named a Petra Fellow for her work with LGBTQ homeless youth.  She is formerly Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center and OUTreach Resource Centers, and served as the National Program Director of the Family Acceptance Project. She lives in Utah with her wife and children.  
Email Marian:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

Rachel Peterson has two Master’s Degrees from Utah State University, one in counseling, one in statistics and research methods. She Chairs the Utah Coalition to End Youth Homelessness, and has been researching youth homelessness in Utah for six years. Rachel has coordinated the youth portion of the point-in-time count homeless census, and received $150,000 in grant funding to design and implement interventions designed to increase college access among youth experiencing homelessness. She is currently Director of the Continuum of Care for LGBTQ Youth, a Principle of the Spectrum Consulting Group and a consultant for the Family Acceptance Project. Before these positions, Rachel was Executive Director of OUTreach Resource Centers, a youth-serving non-profit and Director of Programs and Evaluation at the Utah Pride Center.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Sable Liggera is currently a student at Smith College, studying East Asian Studies
and Environmental Science and Policy. They are currently a communications intern with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. From a young age, Sable has been involved with various LGBT organizations, giving them a passion for creating dialogue surrounding LGBT issues. Currently, they assist with social media communications as well as web design and content.  Email Sable:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.