“No one gets left behind. No one is left out. All are treated with dignity and respect."

— Joseph Gosnell, CC OBC, Laxts’imilx Laxsgiik, Nisga'a Nation


Valuable lessons learned at FOH community grants needs assessment workshop

The Foundation of Hope has moved one step closer to supporting LGBT+ refugees in Canada with its first community needs grants assessment. Representatives from across the LGBT+ community, refugee service providers, and grassroots organizations all joined up with FOH Board members on February 1, 2015. The goal of the meeting was to advise on how FOH can best target community grants to effectively benefit LGBT+ newcomers.

The group looked at potential grant categories that FOH is considering and provided feedback on each item. “It was really neat how we came to the community with our ideas on how we could help and they came back to us and said the community needs more capacity for sharing and collaborating across sectors,” said FOH Chairperson Carl Meadows.

The FOH grant development committee offered up items including housing, health care, circles of hope, community support services, and emergency funds as its first draft of possible funding categories. “But after it was all said and done,” noted Meadows, “the community told us we should shift our priorities away from ‘band-aid’ solutions and focus on supporting systemic change.”

The group suggested including a funding category focused on community capacity building. “Now it’s the committee’s job to look at the feedback and figure out what that will all look like,” Meadows added. The committee intends to use the valuable feedback to develop appropriate terms of reference for all grant applications going forward.

The Board would like to thank everyone who participated and offered feedback. We gratefully acknowledge the City of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant Community Centre for allowing us to host the event. We thank Hamid for providing last minute Farsi translation and are grateful to Hugo at Blenz Coffee on Davie and Richards for supplying complimentary refreshments. The Foundation especially thanks Pamela Schmidt for facilitating the workshop.

We at FOH also want to send a big hug to the LGBT+ refugees who spoke at the meeting. It was truly a community event that brought wisdom and expertise to an evolving discussion about what the LGBT+ refugee community needs.



FOH launches its website at the LOUD Business lunch

Board members from FOH attended the LOUD Business lunch on Friday, January 16th. The Gay & Lesbian Business Association (GLBA) is a not-for-profit organisation seeking to offer its members opportunities for networking, exchange of ideas, and increased business revenue. Income raised through GLBA membership, sponsorship, and event fees also goes toward the LOUD Foundation, its charitable arm. Foundation of Hope Chair Carl Meadows delivered a presentation about our organisation and its purpose to other LOUD attendees. The website launch was such a success that FOH has raised over $1000 since Friday’s business lunch!

Shout out to Blair Smith (pictured here) and all the folks in the LOUD Business community! We thank you for your continued support and networking opportunities.

Featured image courtesy of Belle Ancell www.belleancellphotography.com


7 reasons to volunteer in the LGBT+ community

When most people think of volunteering, their visions may include soup kitchen line-ups, political organizing, sporting events, curbside trash programs, and church or community events. While these are true and real ways to volunteer, there are many other areas where the gay community needs your help. Most LGBT+ committees are built on the foundations of non-profits. Whether it is for LGBT+ health, social services, housing, food programs, community outreach, and queer film festivals, there is a non-profit within an arms reach for you to be a volunteer.

Some stereotypes, particularly about gay men being wealthy and having disposable incomes, affect our own communities’ perceptions of poverty. Many in the LGBT+ community live below the poverty line and must access food banks. Other people volunteer for organizations that work with LGBT+ refugees. In a world of competing interests, here are 7 reasons to volunteer for the LGBT+ community:

1. It feels good and it is sexy

2. You meet great people with shared values

3. It reminds us to be thankful for what we have

4. It’s a great way to show employers that you give back and you care

5. Expertise is needed on boards and on committees to keep our community strong

6. Not for profit organizations are one of the back bones of our LGBT+ community

7. It creates legacies of caring for each other and models the way

Many people like the idea of volunteering but don’t know where to start. It can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider what things you care about, whether it is poverty, healthcare access, anti-bullying campaigns, seniors or youth programs. There is a relevant non-profit in your community. Most have applications and it’s helpful to get clear about why you care in advance and how much time and the types of services you can offer. The most important pieces to volunteering is getting clear about what can you commit to and then following through. The rest just makes you feel great.


Pride party and inaugural Foundation of Hope fundraiser

On August 1, 2014, Kevin Perra graciously hosted the Rainbow Foundation of Hope at his Annual Pride Party. Thanks to his enthusiasm and tremendous generosity, the party was a raving success. Announcement of the Foundation brought in its first contribution of $2800.00. Kevin, you are amazing!

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