KALEIDOSCOPE YOUTH CENTER
Who We Are: Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) exists to help LGBTQIA+ youth thrive, learn, lead, and be exactly who they were meant to be. As the largest and longest-serving organization of its kind, KYC is proud to be here for youth of Columbus, central Ohio, and beyond. Celebrating their 25th Anniversary in 2019, KYC works in partnership with youth, ages 12-24, to create safer and affirming spaces for young people through their drop-in center, community education and outreach, advocacy and civic engagement, and in health and wellness, and housing opportunities.
What We Do: Belonging begins here, in the drop-in center in downtown Columbus - a secure, affirming, LGBTQIA+ friendly space staffed by qualified and compassionate allies, mentors, and members of the community. Whether that means finding a supportive ear, a warm meal, space to breathe, or access to resources like computers or art supplies, it’s all here. KYC also provides education and training to a network of Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSAs) clubs in schools across the state. Brand new housing opportunities through KYC are also centering the needs of LGBTQIA+ young people who may be homeless or unsafely housed.
Why We're Important: LGBTQIA+ young people are 120 percent more likely to be homeless, and they experience feelings of loneliness and isolation in ways many their non-LGBTQIA+ counterparts can’t imagine. KYC’s programs prepare young people to stand strong and belong wherever they go. Young people at KYC find support in their peers, as well as personalized support from a knowledgeable staff and adult mentors.
How We Impact the Community: We believe in leadership in thought and action. We work in partnership with youth to collaborate with educators and community members to help bring a safer and affirming culture to every corner of our community. KYC’s education and training programs help people understand the LGBTQIA+ experience, and helps community leaders and lawmakers build better policy that’s good for everyone.
How You Can Help: At KYC, we know #ItTakesAVillage to create a safer, more affirming world. Every hour volunteered, every dollar received, brings us closer to a world where everyone experiences belonging. If you want to stand alongside KYC and everything we stand for, visit kycohio.org to learn all the ways you can volunteer, mentor, donate, and support LGBTQIA+ young people in our community.
Connect with Kaleidoscope Youth Center
Executive Director: Erin Upchurch, MSSA, LISW-S
Development Director (manager): Jennifer Kuhn
Board Chair: Kelly Francone