Room to Be You(th) is a program that will provide support for LGBTQ youth in Appleton’s Diverse & Resilient office. With funding from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, United Way Fox Cities, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, and private donations. Northeast Wisconsin youth will have the support of a full-time staffer, Reiko Ramos.
The program includes a weekly video call support group that focuses on helping youth build resilience, confidence, and safety in their dating relationships. During the COVID crisis when queer youth are more likely to experience stress, anxiety and depression from being at home with unsupportive family or social isolation from their peers, the support groups come at an important time.
It is a part of the Diverse & Resilient Room to Be Safe Anti-Violence Program to address the violence LGBTQ+ individuals face within communities, sexual or intimate partner relationships, and families. Anti-Violence Program Director Kathy Flores told the Appleton’s Post-Crescent that Diverse & Resilient has received an increase in calls for help, including 300 calls during the first six weeks under safer-at-home orders (they received around 300 calls in the five months prior to the start of the pandemic).
For information about Room to Be You(th), call or text 414-856-5428 or email [email protected].