Announcing Plans to Open Loudoun's 1st LGBTQ+ Center
Calling Investors and Community Partners to Help Launch a Vital Resource
August 26, 2022
LEESBURG, VA — The Equality Loudoun Board of Directors announced that as part of its 5-year strategic plan the organization will work to open Loudoun County’s first LGBTQ+ Community Center by 2027. We hope to provide a space where local LGBTQ+ community members and their allies would be able to gather in a safe and affirming environment that includes a recreational area, an employment resource area, an inclusive library, a food assistance pantry, an LGBTQ+ affirming medical partnership space, and a meeting area for local non-profits. “In the short term, we will continue working on expanding our capabilities in each of these areas to meet community needs,” said Secretary Lisa Williams. “It's important to have a welcoming space where our community can be who they are - without fear of judgment.”
Further, EQLOCO will be opening up its doors for the first time to formal partnerships with local and regional organizations to achieve its operational goals to serve the community. With several partnerships under development, we are excited to announce we will be formally partnering with the Stop Child Abuse Network of Northern Virginia to further our shared goals of community awareness, safety, and education that protects our most vulnerable community members. They will join EQLOCO’s partnership and memberships with the Loudoun Continuum of Care, Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, the NOVA Equality Alliance, and over 50 local businesses and counting.
“After almost 20 years of advocacy, we are increasing our efforts at serving important gaps in LGBTQ+ care and need. Our community still faces daily issues here in Loudoun,'' said President Cris Candice Tuck. In the last 3 years, Equality Loudoun has received regular reports of homelessness, abuse, harassment, and discrimination from LGBTQ+ residents in Loudoun. The organization has expanded to include 29 permanent volunteers aimed at meeting mission areas critical to helping those in need.
Equality Loudoun calls on local businesses and organizations interested in partnering or funding these efforts to contact our team to begin building this next chapter in Loudoun’s legacy of forming an inclusive, diverse, and equitable community. “Unfortunately, the needs of the LGBTQ+ community continue to outpace the services and support systems currently available,” said Education Director Jennifer Boudrye. According to the Center for American Progress, as of 2020 more than 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ Americans face discrimination, including more than 3 in 5 transgender individuals, acting as a barrier to accessing basic needs.