October 9, 2020
Three non-profit agencies will receive $714,000 in provincial funding to create a roster of free services for young LGBTQ2S+ people in Windsor and Essex County.
QLink Windsor-Essex is a collaboration involving Windsor-Essex Pride Fest, Family Services Windsor-Essex and Windsor Pride Community.
“QLink programs will offer welcoming, inclusive, safe environments for youth to explore and discuss unique experiences related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, build connections and develop a sense of community,” said Jessica McCulloch, treasurer of Windsor Pride Community.
“All of the programs including professional counselling are offered at no cost. LGBTQ2S+ youth who are facing barriers will develop stronger emotional and social connections, and build resiliency, which will allow for an overall healthier community right here in Windsor-Essex.”
QLink, announced Friday during a media conference and Facebook Live event, is focused on LGBTQ2S+ people between the ages of 12 and 29, along with their families. It will deliver peer-led supports and better access to mental health services to improve social and emotional well-being.
The collaboration will receive $714,800 over three years from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
“By coming together for this initiative, I’m certain the positive impact on LGBTQ2S+ youth, their families, friends, allies and our broader community will be something that we see grow exponentially,” said MPP Lisa Gretzky (NDP — Windsor West), who attended the event of behalf of the Trillium Foundation.
“And to the people that are watching this remotely, especially individuals from the LGBTQ2S+ community, know that you are loved, you are valued and you are not alone,” said Gretzky.
Wendi Nicholson, president of Windsor-Essex Pride Fest, said this is the first LGBTQ2S+ collaborative project of its kind in the region.
“This collaboration and funding will be focused on making a difference for the LGBTQ2S+ youth in Windsor-Essex for years to come,” she said. “We are absolutely thrilled that the community has received this funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation that will provide free access to programs and services that are vital to the health and well-being of the LGBTQ2S+ young people in Windsor-Essex.”
LGBTQS+ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and Two-Spirit.
For more information, go to QLinkWE.ca.
By Trevor Wilhelm