June 30, 2022

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Colts’ Kicking The Stigma Action Grant Allows…

2 min read
Colts' Kicking The Stigma Action Grant Allows...

Indiana Youth Group has provided services to LGBTQ youth for 35 years, including basic needs (food, water, clothing, showers), housing (it has the state’s largest housing program – one in four youth who come out as LGBTQ experience homelessness) and plenty of forms of support. In 2021, Indiana Youth Group served over 3,000 meals and engaged with over 2,000 LGBTQ+ youth.

“Imagine being a 15-year-old,” Drake said. “You should be able to exist, be supported through your journey, have the support you need — like, that’s all young people really want.”

The programs and services offered by Indiana Youth Group are exactly what Drake, who proudly identifies as a queer Black woman, wished she had growing up. She hopes the HUGS program can be a “beacon of hope” for LGBTQ youth, and is another way for LGBTQ youth to have a supportive adult in their lives.

“Knowing that one form of support can reduce suicide rates by 40 percent, for me, it propels me to want to do more, to work with people like the Colts to make sure we can be innovative in our programs and services,” Drake said. “I think for a lot of us here, we know what it’s like to be a queer youth. … These are our lived experiences and anything we could possibly do to help these young people, we’re going to try to figure out way to do it. That’s what we’re here for.”

Applications for Kicking The Stigma Action Grants are open through June 17. To apply and for more information, click here.