As the LGBTQ+ community faces more and more obstacles, including the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, a safe place for the community is needed now more than ever. JASMYN is stepping up to take on the challenge in an effort to build a community where young LGBTQ+ members can freely be themselves, despite any backlash those members may face with friends and/or family.
JASMYN is an organization that aims to provide a safe place offering health and wellness services to young members of the LGBTQ+ community. They offer development opportunities and promote equality for all. They believe the young members are a “valued asset in the Northeast Florida community.” JASMYN partners with organizations all over Northeast Florida to provide necessary resources to those who need them.
Most recently they have announced their goal to expand and complete their campus located in downtown Jacksonville. For a year, JASMYN has been engaged in a campaign to finish the campus. The $1.6 million goal will allow the organization to provide a larger health clinic, an outdoor classroom and entertainment space in a shared backyard that will be available “rain or shine,” a meditative zen garden for people to go when they are feeling overwhelmed and need some quiet time to themselves and additional office space for their ever-growing staff of mental health counselors. The organization will be fully equipped to provide a space for young LGBTQ+ members to go and feel loved and welcomed.
Safe Place will also be raising money via the “Over The Rainbow” fundraiser. This fundraiser allows individuals to donate pavers that, once finished, will be their “yellow brick road.” This is just another way they provide a welcoming community for those who need it.
It is, unfortunately, often we hear of young LGBTQ+ members being cast out by their family or friends in a time of need, but JASMYN offers a place to go if that happens. Not only do they provide health care and services to aid in a healthy and safe lifestyle, but they also provide housing support. This organization, along with others like it, offer a space for the young members to grow and develop into who they want to be, not who society tells them to be. For the past twenty-five years they have achieved such but are always aiming higher.
If you or someone you know is looking for more information visit jasmyn.org and don’t be afraid to be who you are.