OUTreach Resource Center is a 501c3 non-profit based in Ogden, Utah. Founded, in 2004, OUTreach “saves the lives of LGBT individuals and transforms communities” by a combination of direct services to 350 youth age 14-23 and through community education and engagement with a variety of partners throughout the state of Utah and the nation. The work that OUTreach does in the state of Utah is a model for a wide variety of communities, with 24 centers throughout the country that are direct copies, the latest in Midland, Texas.
The direct services are in the form of interventions designed to improve outcome for this marginalized and high risk group which faces a disproportionate incidence of homelessness (30% of OUTreach attendees) and suicide risk (every youth knows at least 1 friend who has lost their life to suicide, one youth knows 19) and low educational attainment (10% go on to attend college). In addition to discrete programs, the center is designed to support youth at all levels.
Center services to youth comprise 40% of OUTreach Resource Center operations, with 60% dedicated to transforming the culture of Utah to one of acceptance for LGBT youth.
Current partnerships include a variety of state and national organizations:
OUTreach has one community forum per month at local libraries during the school year on topics ranging from diversity education, bullying, suicide, reparative therapy, homelessness, discrimination, transgender awareness, self-esteem, GSAs, film screenings and more. The format is a guest panel of experts and a community Q & A and attendance 50 – 100+ community members from Logan to Provo.
OUTreach staff and volunteers provide education to community groups, law enforcement and schools as requested ranging from hate crimes, homeless youth, cultural competency and general diversity training
Center Based Programs and Mentoring
Individual and group mentoring program for adult mentors and youth mentees
NEXT Step, an evidence-based program to improve educational outcome for youth, consisting of a 7 week series of classes addressing goal setting, college prep, campus visits
Healthy Relationship Classes, an evidence-based pilot program of the Department of Health and Human Services designed to provide education on relationships and prevent STIs in conservative areas. Youth participate in a series of classes and conceive and implement community events to educate other youth and the public. OUTreach is the only LGBT youth center in the US participating in this program.
Health and Wellness Classes designed to improve physical health and self-esteem, current topic: Secrets to Success, a series of goal-setting workshops
Life Coaching Workshops covering relationships, self-esteem, coming out, suicide prevention, parents and siblings, bullying, community engagement (volunteering, voting, special projects including Earth Day, LGBT History awareness)
General Workshops ranging from S’More Support Group held each week to community events, gay marriage, gender education, women and misogyny, spirituality and personal faith
Guest Speakers include national, state and local role models and representatives, such as Peaceful Uprising, Joe’s Walk for Change, United Nations staff, law enforcement, business owners, clergy from various faith traditions, S’LUT Walk, the United Nations, GSA leaders, WSU faculty, artists, musicians, film directors
Field trips to WSU for special speakers, to community events including plays and concerts from Ogden to SLC, educational opportunities or speaking (OUTreach anti-bullying alliance speaking at a community event, etc)
Special Projects include Blank Page street magazines with Nurture the Creative Mind, film making with Emmy Award winner, Dr. Kendall Wilcox
Throughout all OUTreach activities, adult mentors are present to facilitate conversations, to direct youth to on-site psychologists provide support and serve as role models.