At OUTMemphis, Youth & Families is one of the three pillars (along with Health & Wellness and Culture & Community) on which we base the work we do. Our youth programs are focused on young people aged 25 and under and can be classified into two program areas- The Metamorphosis Project and Youth Community Programs.
The Metamorphosis Project is our holistic approach to ending LGBTQ youth homelessness in Memphis. The program includes wraparound services for youth experiencing homelessness, a Rapid Re-Housing Program, and a new Youth Emergency Center which houses an overnight shelter and drop-in center, set to open in January 2020. You can find out more information about The Metamorphosis Project here or email Stephanie Bell, our Director of the Metamorphosis Project.
Youth Community Programs is focused on reaching kids where they are. We offer resources and support to schools, libraries and other youth serving institutions. OUTMemphis also offers three youth focused social-support groups, broken down by age- PRYSM, GenQ & We Are Family. For more information about any of these groups, check out the information below or email Emerson Kirkpatrick, our Youth Services Specialist.
Every Friday 7:00p-9:00p
GenQ is our group for youth ages 18-25. In this weekly meeting, participants engage in a wide range of activities, including but not limited to holiday parties, trainings and speakers, movie nights, off-site excursions, and general socialization. This group is also part of an initiative called Life Hacks. This initiative, funded through a Neighborhood Development Grant, occurs on the first Friday of each month. During these meetings, participants learn some useful skill or knowledge. Previous Life Hacks have included cooking classes, Jiu Jitsu self-defense, financial planning, cleaning and hygiene, and many more. As with many of our peer-led groups at OUTMemphis, there is always a meal at GenQ.
Here are some thoughts about GenQ from participants:
“GenQ is a very warm space. Everyone is very cool and sociable. I feel like I can say stuff without being worried that anyone is going to judge me.”
“Free food, cool people, and a chill time with people my own age. It’s really great to hang out with people y own age without being in a smokey bar or something”
“Comfy couches, free food, cool people; it’s everything you want on a friday night!”
Every Saturday 4:00p-6:00p
PRYSM is our youth group for youth ages 13-17. This group is different from many of our other groups in that it is not peer-led. This group is facilitated by youth-specific staff and highly vetted and background checked volunteers. This group meets on Saturdays when the Community Center is closed for operation so that the youths remain in a safe, youth-specific space. No one, including parents, are allowed to attend these meetings.
We Are Family
Quarterly (Dates Vary) 11:00a-2:00p
We Are Family is a quarterly group that offers a chance for LGBTQ+ families with children ages 12 and under to connect with other such families. All families have a unique blend of members that don’t always look the same as others. The purpose of this group is for youth 12 and under and their immediate family to have a welcoming space to make lasting connections with other families that may or may not resemble their own.
The first meeting of this new group will be Saturday, November 23. It is the hope of OUTMemphis that this new group will fill a need not currently being met for LGBTQ+ families with young children to meet each other and co-mingle in a space that is affirming and friendly. Youth and their families will engage in a variety of activities that involve the whole family and encourage collaboration and connection within and between different families.