Help us create Olympia’s LGBTQ+ Community Center!

Help us create Olympia’s LGBTQ+ Community Center!

From Stonewall Youth

Participate in buying & sustaining our multigenerational LGBTQ+ community center! The Center is dedicated to social justice in our intersecting communities. We need only $25,000 more to reach our goal of $460,000!

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Stonewall Youth is counting on YOU to make a vibrant and beneficial community investment! Please help us buy our building to use as the Stonewall Community Center, a multipurpose community center dedicated to the ongoing our region's diverse and multigenerational LGBTQ+ community and allied social justice advocates. 

Along with serving as the headquarters for Stonewall Youth, the community center will serve needs expressed by other multigenerational regional LGBTQ+ and social justice nonprofits. 

For 26 years, Stonewall Youth has provided supportive and empowering programs to generations of LGBTQ+ youth in our community. We're an organization of youth, activists, and allies that empowers LGBTQ+ youth to speak for themselves, support each other, educate their communities, and work for social justice.

In 2016, the building we shared with several nonprofits for seven years was sold for development. As we investigated our options, it became clear that purchasing property is best and most sustainable course of action for the youth that we serve, our organization, our community, and other local LGBTQ+ and social justice organizations that need space for offices, meetings, and events.

In January, we signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement with the owner of the lovely building we're currently leasing at 112 State Ave NE in downtown Olympia, Washington. The closing date is 7/23/2018. We've already raised more than $140,000 from donations and grants! 

We're depending on YOU to help us raise the final $25,000!  Your donation will be going towards the $415,000 purchase price as well as renovations needed to make the rest of the building ADA accessible. The remainder of the purchase price will be paid via foundation grants and loans from our credit union and community supporters. The rental income from the upstairs offices -- even while renting the offices at rates less than other comparable offices in our area --  is enough to cover our loan repayments.

The Community Center will be able to house and host other LGBTQ+ and social justice organizations. Many of the reasonably priced office, meeting, performance, and fundraising spaces in our community that once available have been repurposed as condominiums, storage spaces for larger businesses, and other uses. Few of the remaining places are ADA accessible.

Help us provide a stable, affordable, and fabulous place for a wide range of people to use for offices, meetings, and events! We also hope to develop a licensed commercial kitchen available for use by nonprofits and emerging entrepreneurs.

Stonewall Youth is an organization of youth, activists, and allies that empowers LGBTQ+ youth to speak for themselves, support each other, educate their communities, and work for social justice.  We serve youth ages 21 and under in Thurston, Mason and Lewis Counties in Washington state.

The Building:  It is a two-story building with a total of 4400 square feet.  Stonewall Youth currently inhabits the entire first floor, which is on street-level. It is ADA accessible and consists of a large main room with many lovely windows, two offices, two bathrooms, and a small kitchen.  The main room has ample space for our library, our music and art programs, a computer area, and a large cozy area that serves as a living room. 

The second floor has 11 offices currently rented by an array of local artists, therapists, and other businesses.  Once we purchase the building, folks can continue renting offices (which will help us pay our mortgage), though we hope to do a major renovation of the upstairs within a few years to make it ADA accessible and more available to other local LGBTQ+ and social justice organizations for office and meeting space.

Built in 1910, the building is located less than a block from the Olympia Transit Center and within a few blocks of the Olympia Community Center, Percival Landing, and a host of downtown businesses.  

WE INVITE YOUR ASSISTANCE AND INPUT!  

MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION on this site, through our Network for Good page, or by sending a check to the address below.  You can make a donation of stock to our brokerage account. If you’re a current or retired Washington State public employee, please consider supporting Stonewall Youth through the Washington State Combined Fund Drive. (Our code is 0316285). You may also contact us about setting up a bequest or paycheck deduction. 

ENGAGE: It takes a village to create an LGBTQ+ community center! We welcome the input and assistance of individuals and organizations that are interested in developing and social justice community center in our region. Help us create a fabulous, useful, multicultural, multigenerational center that will benefit our communities for generations. Contact us at info@stonewallyouth.org for more info.

INVEST: You can make a direct and positive your community! Our goal is to build equity for Stonewall Youth while also providing opportunities for supporters to benefit from making an investment in the community center via a limited liability corporation set up by a supporter. Folks will have the option "roll-over" funds from an IRA and continue to receive the tax advantages of the IRA while they invest in Stonewall Youth. Feel free to contact Bryn Houghton at bryn@stonewallyouth.org for more information.

Stonewall Youth is spearheading the Trans & Queer Generations capital campaign in order to ensure that the entire LGBTQ+ community can benefit from this resource.

BACKGROUND:  For 26 years, Stonewall Youth has provided supportive and empowering programs to generations of LGBTQ+ youth in our community (more about Stonewall below). In 2016, the building that we shared with several nonprofits for seven years was sold for development.  

In April of 2017, we moved our new space, and love it!

The necessity of dedicated and reliable space for LGBTQ+ youth inspired Stonewall Youth's drive to purchase our current HQ. We are excited that the multipurpose community center will also serve needs expressed by other local LGBTQ+ and social justice nonprofits, such as the need for office, meeting, and event space.  In addition, it will provide leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities for our community. The community center will be a vibrant and beneficial investment in downtown Olympia. 

Click here for more information about the Trans & Queer Generations Capital Campaign 

About Stonewall Youth

Founded in 1991, Stonewall Youth is an organization of youth, activists allies that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual youth to speak for themselves, educate their communities, and support each other.

Stonewall Youth's work is rooted in social justice and anti-oppression values.  We address the root causes of oppression while providing access to services and activities that alleviate the stresses of marginalization and assist youth to survive, thrive, and to build sustainable lives. 

The local LGBTQ+ youth and adult allies who started Stonewall Youth 26 years ago aimed to address struggles facing LGBTQ+ youth:  a high rate of bullying, violence, homelessness, suicide ideation and suicide, isolation, discrimination, domestic violence, substance abuse, unaddressed mental health struggles, vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, and immense struggles at home, at school, at work, and in the community. Although some legal rights for LGBTQ+ people have advanced, LGBTQ+ youth continue to face the same struggles at much higher rates than their -LGBTQ+ peers.

Stonewall Youth (SY) provides an array of programs, services opportunities to LGBTQ+ youth

Peer Support Groups: This is a time for LGBTQ+ youth to discuss their experiences, successes struggles. Participants provide support to each other, learn from each other, and build community.  Group is facilitated by youth and adult staff/volunteer mentors. Along with our weekly peer support group, we host other groups such as a support group for Queer and Trans People of Color.

Drop-in hours:  At drop-ins, youth hang out, check in with each other, make friends, and relax. Activities include art projects, games, movies, field trips, Youth Council, and workshops on a wide range of topics. three days each week, for a total of 10 hours per week.

Youth Leadership and Activism:  Stonewall Youth is committed to building the capacity for youth organizing and leadership by providing the training, resources, and support necessary for youth to maximize their leadership and power within Stonewall Youth and to be effective activists and community organizers for issues of importance to them.  Youth are in positions of power in our organization and are at the center of all decision-making. Three of our five Co-directors are youth, as are about half of our Board members.  We’ve provided internships to over 55 college students (primarily youth) in the last 25 and now have paid Fellowships for youth.

Mentorship and Referrals: We provide the support that youth may need to identify and address the obstacles and opportunities they may face at home, in school, at work, and in their community.

Speaker’s Bureau Collective:  Youth present workshops at schools, community organizations, social service and law enforcement agencies, as well as public events. They receive stipends for their work.

Stonewall Activism Saturday School (SASS): SASS is a quarterly workshop for youth organized by the Speakers Bureau Collective that supports LGBTQ+ youth and allies to exchange skills to become more effective activists and stand in solidarity with the movements that surround us.

Art & Music Programs, Shows, and Performances: We have several 10-week expressive arts workshops for youth each year in a variety of mediums such as poetry, spoken word, visual arts, and theater.  We recently inherited Queer Rock Camp’s* instrument collection. We’ve been playing a lot of music during drop-ins.  Instruments will continue to be available for youth to play during drop-ins, AND we’re starting organized music drop-ins in January. 

Glitter Camp: This annual 3-day youth-led retreat takes place at a camp in a rural area. Youth, staff, and volunteers join together for collaborative organizational planning activities focused on the short- and long-term work of Stonewall.

Safe & Sober Social Events: We have monthly community potlucks (for everyone!) several annual youth dances, open mics, and several other activities.

Stonewall Youth offers what is often the only safe, reliable, and intentional space for most of our youth. LGBTQ+ youth are significantly more likely than their peers to experience violence, attempt suicide, and abuse substances. In schools, they experience hate-crimes, bullying, and are unable to access basic services like culturally competent teachers or safe bathrooms. These injustices lead to depression, high drop out rates, and serious health issues. Family rejection contributes to the statistic that over 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ+. LGBTQ+ youth face barriers to accessing social services like or safety in housing, foster care or juvenile justice. 

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Stonewall Youth is spearheading the Trans & Queer Generations capital campaign in order to ensure that the entire LGBTQ+ community can benefit from this resource.

Our mailing address:  Stonewall Youth, PO Box 7383, Olympia WA 98507.  We are a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and our federal tax ID  is 94-3202727.

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