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Columbus, OH 43215


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City Council Partners with Kaleidoscope Youth Center to Continue Serving LGBTQIA+ Youth Beyond Pride Month

For Immediate Release

June 27, 2022

Columbus, OH -- Today, Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin sponsored legislation to fund Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) for mental health and wellness services to support Columbus’ LGBTQIA+ youth. This grant agreement will support Kaleidoscope’s expansion of  programming centered on mental health, wellness,  trauma recovery and building self-esteem.

“It is vital for youth to grow up in a safe environment, where they have high self-worth and access to resources, such as therapy for their mental well-being. I am proud to sponsor this legislation and support Kaleidoscope Youth Center to provide key services for the LGBTQIA+ youth in our community,” said Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin. 

The KYC Community Wellness Initiative is an expansion of KYC’s current programming with an intersectional focus on the emerging mental health and wellness needs of LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults. This initiative works to implement sustainable community based wellness programs that improve the lives of adolescents, identify health conditions and environmental factors that are associated with barriers to wellness, and aid in improving the social determinants of health and wellness as it relates to LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults. Direct mental health services include trauma informed and culturally responsive mental health and emotional support, such as individual counseling or therapy. Supportive community programming provides therapeutic group opportunities, such as eating disorder recovery, restorative justice circles, and affinity groups for transgender/non-binary youth, as well as youth from Black and Brown communities.

“We are overwhelmingly grateful for the continued support of Columbus City Council President Hardin and all members of Columbus City Council. Investing in our youth is investing in our future. This is an all hands on deck moment, and we welcome all of our leaders, in all communities to step up in this way. Our young people need to know that we have their backs, that we are on their side.” says KYC Executive Director Erin Upchurch, MSSA, LISW-S

KYC has had over 10,000 visits since 2018. LGBTQIA+ populations are less likely to receive proper health care, including mental health care. Thus, KYC strives to end this cycle by implementing evidence-based wellness initiatives with resources, referrals, and crisis intervention. 

About Kaleidoscope Youth Center

Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) is Ohio's largest and longest-serving organization in Ohio solely dedicated to supporting LGBTQIA+ youth ages 12 - 24,  working in  partnership with young people to provide safer and affirming spaces within and across communities. Services include a drop-in center, community education and training, advocacy and civic engagement, health and wellness programs, and housing opportunities.  More information on KYC can be found at