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Boulder County and Beyond” Out Boulder County Officially Expands Work into Northern Colorado

We are so pleased to officially announce this expansion that has been years in the making. Read on to learn about how this came to be, how we are approaching this work, and meet our new Northern Colorado Community Manager.

A Huge Step for Out Boulder County & Northern Colorado’s LGBTQ+ Individuals and Families

In response to repeated requests and invitations, a history of serving many people outside of Boulder County, and increasing needs, we are honored and excited to announce that we are expanding beyond Boulder County and will begin formally offering programming and outreach in Larimer and Weld counties. We have always provided services outside of Boulder County, and people have always traveled to us to access services and activities. In fact, OBC’s Youth Program, which has been in operation for close to 20 years, is already serving youth from northern Colorado, as well as a youth from Wyoming. Our staff, Board of Directors, and Strategy Committee have discussed this reality for years, and in 2019, our Board of Directors updated our mission statement in a few meaningful ways, including by adding that we serve “Boulder County and Beyond.”In recent years, we have developed more relationships and screened even more inquiries, requests, and invitations to expand our work into communities beyond Boulder County. After earnest conversations with community members and leaders in various areas in northern Colorado, we sought out funding to see what we can do to help LGBTQ+ individuals and families. Today we are sharing that we have been successful in this endeavor and what our initial focus areas will be.   

Our Approach

We know that how we work is just as important as what the work is. We have expertise and experience to share, and we will engage with and rely on local community partners to share their local expertise and experience with us. We will not be duplicating existing work, but rather will bring new energy and programs to the area. Expanding our geographic reach will be a collaborative effort of working with local community members. We know the need is great; that much has been clearly communicated to us, and we are ready to lend leadership and strength to the communities and community members who need us. We look forward to these collaborations and to meeting, supporting, and connecting even more of our LGBTQ+ community members and allies across the northern region of Colorado. 

Initial Program Areas

We are leveraging different funding sources to begin this work in earnest. Read on to learn about how this work will begin to take shape. 

Northern Colorado LGBTQ+ Community Organizing

We have received funding to begin serving northern Colorado and we just hired a Northern Colorado Community Manager, Ash (she/they) who will focus on youth and community support and programming. One of Ash’s first tasks is hiring a part-time Northern Colorado Youth Assistant (see that job posting here.) In addition to funding a staff person, there is funding for a variety of programming and events to support a thriving LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ Youth in Larimer County

Earlier this year, we received a call from a group of leaders of LGBTQ+ youth-serving organizations who were looking to strengthen and fortify existing LGBTQ+ supports and wondered what OBC’s capacity might be for serving LGBTQ+ youth in their area. At the urging of, and in partnership with, our Larimer County contacts, we applied for and received a grant to do a weekend youth leadership retreat in September. This gathering will allow us to hear from youth and their parents about what is going on in their communities, what their needs are, and the highest and best use of OBC’s resources and expertise in the Larimer County community.The Youth Retreat will be Sept 22 - 24 at Camp Buckhorn in Bellvue, applications are open through Sept. 18

Regional School Board Races

We know how critical leadership of our institutions is for supporting LGBTQ+ youth and that the members of a school board can greatly impact the quality of life and well-being for LGBTQ+ and historically marginalized students, staff, and parents. Recently, the Rose Community Foundation provided OBC with a grant to work in public engagement for school board races. As a 501c3, we will not recruit nor endorse candidates, but we can shed light on their positions and ask candidates the hard questions that ensure voters know their stances on LGBTQ+ issues. We will be hosting a candidate forum in Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) and Poudre School District (PSD). Additionally, we will be sending questionnaires to all candidates in BVSD, St. Vrain Valley School District, PSD, and Thompson School District. 

Behavioral Health Program

Our behavioral health program, The Point, which offers short-term individual therapy, case management, and referrals to long-term providers for LGBTQ+ clients, will also be reaching beyond Boulder County with a focus on northern Colorado. We are currently hiring for a part-time Case Management Coordinator to support this expansion of services (see that job posting here.) We are working on preparations for this program and will formally launch soon.

Vaccine Equity Work

Additionally, we have received funding from the CDC Foundation to expand our vaccine equity work to Larimer, Weld, Jefferson, and Adams counties. This work will focus on vaccine education and access. We have hired a Regional Vaccine Associate, Kaia Ball (they), to facilitate this collaboration and outreach.

Next Steps

While we have had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with several Larimer County leaders, we welcome the chance to meet and engage more collaborators. 

We are hiring two part-time staff and ask that you share these opportunities widely with individuals who are familiar with Larimer and the Poudre School Districts. These positions will be based in Fort Collins. We will also build out programming and educational trainings as we gain deeper understanding of the needs and desires of our LGBTQ+ communities in Larimer and Weld counties.


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