The acquisition of this location is a moving story for OUTMemphis and an exciting one for Memphis. In line with their leadership in progressive health in the region, Planned Parenthood of Tennessee & North Mississippi (PPTNM) has donated this building to OUTMemphis, effective October 3.
For OUTMemphis, 832 Virginia Run Cove is more than a building: it’s example of the commitment, resiliency, and teamwork that I believe makes this city great. PPTNM approached OUTMemphis less than two months ago with a novel idea: That by their extraordinary generosity, we could work together to significantly expand the simple principle that unites us: All bodies and minds are good, are righteous, are deserving of health, respect, pleasure, safety, and joy.
This building — and the growth that it enables — represents a truly unparalleled contribution to the assets of OUTMemphis and the communities that we are lucky to serve. Planned Parenthood’s investment not just in our facilities but in the necessity of our work, raises our regional platform and our overall capacity to serve the Mid-Southerns who need us most.
The 4500 square foot facility will house all administrative business for OUTMemphis as well as our new and improved Donation Center: a comprehensive distribution venue for LGBTQ+ people under 24 in need of furniture, clothing, and hygiene supplies.
In addition to this special occasion this morning, this week is quite a significant one for OUTMemphis. Tonight, we celebrate our preview party at Crosstown Brewery for OUTFlix, our 22-year international, independent LGBTQ film festival, where the culture and community of queer people is made visible. Then, tomorrow morning, just after dawn, the concrete foundation of the Youth Emergency Center & Overnight Shelter (the Metamorphosis Project), located at 2055 Southern Avenue will be complete, and we aim to open operations before January 2020. The shelter will be a part of our long-term solution to the crisis of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness in Memphis, which, just like our announcement this morning, is another example of Memphians empowering Memphians to make real change.
We are also proud to announce today upgrades and capital improvements to come to our flagship Community Center in Cooper-Young, which, moving forward, will be fully dedicated to our current programming in addition to expanded health services. This year will be OUTMemphis’s 15th year of providing judgement-free and LGBTQ+ informed HIV testing and linkage to care. In the coming year, our Health & Wellness mission will include services around the five health areas of care most needed for LGBTQ+ people in the South: sexual health, mental health, intimate partner violence, spiritual health, physical health, and substance abuse.
This fall we are also unveiling the framework of our three longterm pillars of our mission: Health & Wellness, Youth & Families, and Community & Culture.
As I say in nearly all my public statements about OUTMemphis, a world class city needs a world class LGBTQ+ center. Planned Parenthood continues to elevate the city of Memphis through its relentless pursuit of equity and generosity. This growth enabled by this collaboration is a key landmark in accomplishing this goal.
This year, OUTMemphis is celebration our 30th anniversary. Since our founding in 1989, OUTMemphis — formerly the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center — has seen many homes, including, at times, the living rooms and garages of our persistent founders. As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we are pleased to endeavor into this expansion of our provision of life-saving services and a new generation of “homes” for LGBTQ+ and allied Memphians.
To join our efforts and to sustain our impact longterm, please consider a donation to OUTMemphis today. You can find more information on the Donate page. Every donation of every size is an essential building block in everything that comes next.
With my enormous gratitude to my city,
Molly Rose Quinn