OREGON, USA — The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) is distributing tens of thousands of dollars in grant money to organizations helping vulnerable, hard-hit communities. This latest cycle includes three local organizations that focus on LGBTQ+ support.
"As we enter the first week of Pride Month, we consider the unique challenges for LGBTQ+ communities from ongoing discrimination and violence, compounded by economic and health impacts from the pandemic," said Niyati Desai, OCF director of community engagement.
The grants total $70,000 and will go to:
- Beyond These Walls ($20,000)
- TransPonder ($30,000)
- Q Center ($20,000)
The first group, Beyond These Walls, works to support LGBTQ people who are incarcerated.
"LGBTQ people have a harder time in prison," said executive director Biff Chaplow. "We see higher instances of sexual assault across the board... harassment from both staff and other peers that they're living with."
TransPonder in Eugene connects the transgender community with health and social support services. It is also a completely transgender-founded and led organization.
Q Center in NE Portland is a community center that hosts various LGBTQ+ affirming events. It is also home to several offices and workspaces that link people with health and social services.
Grant money from OCF will go toward Q Center's growing food pantry program, a collaboration with Hand Up Project. The pantry program has evolved to address growing needs during the pandemic.
"It has really given us an interesting opportunity to reformat what Q Center looks like," said Ian Morton, executive director of the Q Center. "All of us at Q Center are so appreciative of the OCF funding... We can't wait to celebrate on our Pride float, so look for us in the June 20 virtual Pride Parade!"
OCF's Fall 2021 Community Grants cycle is now open for applications. It is considering a broad range of nonprofits, requesting applicants be focused on populations disproportionately impacted by inequities "further compounded by racial and social injustice, the pandemic, and/or wildfires."
Applications are due July 15, 2021, by 5 p.m., with decisions made by early November 2021.