Nonprofit Spotlight: Inside Out Youth Services

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In June, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to Inside Out Youth Services!

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 1990

  • Leadership: Executive Director, Jessie Pocock, is a queer activist and social sector leader. A fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ youth, she is a member of the Suicide Prevention Commission for Colorado and a Governors Fellow, which attracts the best leaders to public service to help solve the state’s most challenging issues.

  • Issue they address: sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ youth

  • What they do: provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth and allies ages 13-24.

  • How they do it:

    • Community Center: drop-ins (online and in person), outings and programming for both youth (ages 13-18) and young adults (ages 18-24). This includes leadership opportunities, peer support, life skills workshops, healthy relationships ed, arts and crafts, rec nights, family meals and support groups.

    • Free mental health services: free therapy with their resident licensed clinician for all Inside Out participants and their families.

    • Advocacy: provide workshops that train parents and trusted adults, as well as, schools and organizations to advocate for and support LGBTQ+ youth.

Why they were chosen

For 30+ years, Inside Out has been a vital organization in Colorado Springs, providing a comfortable, welcoming space where LGBTQ+ youth can freely express themselves and connect to trusted adults and peers for support and advocacy.

  • They were founded by a mental health expert and continue to center mental health and well-being in their programs, providing free therapy and support groups to LGBTQ+ youth and their families.
  • In 2021, they had ~7,000 visits to their community center or online forums, serving 250+ unique youth. And trained 1,500+ adults on how to better support and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth.
  • Inside Out formed the Safe @ Schools coalition to create anti-bullying protections and advocate to make schools safer for LGBTQ+ youth. They’re also advocating at local and state levels.

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Being young is hard enough, let alone if you’re struggling with your sexual orientation or gender identity. LGTBQ+ youth experience unique challenges and are at higher risk for mental health conditions. Consider:

Safe and welcoming spaces like Inside Out enable LGBTQ+ youth to find community, feel accepted and supported as they navigate this challenging time.

🌈 And with June having been Pride Month – it’s a perfect time to support small nonprofits that are on the ground working to create more inclusive schools and spaces for LGBTQ+ youth to flourish.

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Mental Health cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit working to make the world a healthier place.