Work continues toward establishing center for LGBTQ+ Youth in Dayton

DAYTON — The mission to raise money and find a physical location for a LGBTQ+ youth center in Dayton is continuing.

“We really know that LGBTQ people, and especially youth, are underserved here,” said Richelle Frabotta, Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County LGBTQ Health Initiatives Project manager.

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She told News Center 7′s Brandon Lewis that the center is the outcome of her thinking ‘how do we create a prevention-oriented space to quite frankly keep our kids alive?’ The center’s aim would be to provide an opportunity for connection, offer prevention education programming and offering an affirming community in Dayton, Montgomery County and beyond.

Once a brick-and-mortar structure it is established, will serve youth in grades seven through 12, she said.

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay and bisexual seventh- through 12th-graders were more than twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to have attempted suicide.

Ella Glover, 17, of Bellbrook, understands the obstacles LGBTQ+ kids face.

“I’ve had very late night conversations with some of my closest friends just trying to convince them to stay one more day,” said Glover, a rising senior who supports plans for the type of center being considered for Dayton.

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“It sounds like it could be amazingly helpful to people,” Glover said. “And from my experience being young, queer, and not knowing very many people who are in the same situation as me, if I had that resource available to myself and a lot of my friends, it could have moved mountains for us in a really difficult time.”

In May, the Health Alliance held a fundraiser to introduce the project to the community. The alliance is planning another fundraiser for this fall.

If you want to donate, you may do so through The Dayton Foundation.

Frabotta said there is a full intent to broaden the community.

“We want to be, Montgomery County wants to be an inclusive community,” she said.