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Queer & Trans Family Support Conference

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Saturday, February 25th, 2017
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
AGAPE School | 1037 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104
lunch provided | free parking

Are you the parent, caregiver, or supportive adult of an LGBTQ+ youth? Is your child out… or questioning gender or sexual identity?

If so, this event is for you! The Bridge for Youth, Minneapolis Public Schools and St. Paul Public School’s GSDPAC are bringing together experts in education, adolescent development, and mental health. Click here for more information and to register.

Attend a Mission Tour!

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Attend a one-hour Mission Tour to learn first-hand about the difference The Bridge for Youth makes in our community. Tours are held the first Thursday of each month, with alternating times in the early morning or late afternoon.

Upcoming dates and times:

June 1, 2017         5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

July 6, 2017          7:45 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

August 3, 2017     5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

 

 

Email Cynthia to register for a tour.

 

Parents & Caregivers of LGBTQ Youth: Forum Scheduled for April 30, 2016

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 The Bridge for Youth along with Saint Paul Public Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools, and St. Paul’s Public School Gender and Sexuality Diversity Parent Advisory Council (GSDPAC) will be hosting a team of experts to share best practices around issues facing LGBTQ youth today. The free event and forum will be held an Saturday April 30th from 9:30 – 3:00 p.m. at St Paul’s Central High School and is designed for parents, caregivers, parents, teachers, social workers and community members, you will learn how to support the LGBTQ teens.
Some topics include:
* Gender and Sexuality 101
* Advocating for your LGBTQ+ Child in School Setting
* Tips to be a Supportive Presence for your LGBTQ+ Youth
* Adolescent Years: Crushes, Dating, Sex and Love
To register please call Fran at 612-230-6668.  For more details on the event, please click here.

Get to know our New Executive Director!

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Executive Director, Michelle Basham

On February 2nd, The Bridge for Youth welcomed Michelle Basham as the new Executive Director.

Please join us for an opportunity to meet Michelle and hear her vision for the The Bridge’s future:

A Conversation with Michelle Basham
When: Tuesday, April 12th from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Where: The Bridge for Youth Community Room
1111 West 22nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Save the date! More details to follow in the upcoming months. We hope you can make it!

Support Group for Parents of LGBT Teens Starts July 8

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so what if i am flagLesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender teens can always find support at The Bridge for Youth in the Twin Cities.  The Bridge provides safe, emergency shelter for LGBT youth who may need a break from family when conflict at home intensifies.

LGBT teens who want to find like-minded peers, meet other LGBT kids in a confidential, safe place know that The Bridge for Youth’s weekly support group, So What if I Am?, is the place to go.  The group meets every Tuesday at The Bridge, with drop-in from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and a facilitated group from 5:30 to 6:3o p.m.

Parents now have a place to find community as well.  Beginning in July, an support group for parents of GLBT youth will launch at The Bridge.  The drop-in group, funded by Headwaters Justice Foundation, will meet the first Tuesday of every month from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at The Bridge.

“We found that many parents of LGBT teens feel isolated,” said Joan Countryman, Outreach Manager at The Bridge.  “Teens may not be ready to come out to peers and classmates.  That makes it hard for parents to identify other parents to build connections with.”

Parents now have a safe place to talk about how to support their LGBT teen.  Safety is always a big discussion item.  Other topics to be explored include having difficult conversations with family, school, and community, recognizing and identifying mental health issues, and helping your GLBT teen navigate crushes, dating, and sex.

The Bridge for Youth is located at 1111 West 22nd Street, Minneapolis.  Services include emergency and long-term shelter for youth ages 10-17, free counseling for youth and families, and support groups.

 

Volunteer Kickoff: Jan 20

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Join our group of volunteers to help organize our annual fundraising dinner. We will be meeting at The Bridge for Youth’s Community Room (1111 West 22nd Street, Minneapolis) from 5pm – 6:30pm.

This is a fun way to network with other professionals and help homeless youth.

For more information, email Mark.

 

Mental Health Assessments for Teens

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No child should suffer from untreated mental health issues.  No parent should have to live in fear about the emotional well-being of their child.

Free mental health assessments are available to any child between the ages of 10-17 at The Bridge for Youth.  If a mental health diagnosis is made, parents can then advocate for services from health care providers.  The counseling team at The Bridge for Youth can assist parents in navigating the health care system to ensure that each child receives the care they need.

Call 612-377-8800 to make an appointment.

PRIDE at The Bridge for Youth: Booth BO37

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so what if i am flagJune is a time to celebrate diversity at The Bridge for  Youth.  The Twin Cities PRIDE festival is a call to action for all people gay, straight, and in between to appreciate how rich our world is with an array of talents, skills, perspectives, and experiences.

Long before it was popular, The Bridge stood by LGBT youth.  In the early 1970’s when The Bridge was founded, staff welcomed lesbian,  bi-sexual, transgender, and gay teens, recognizing that these children needed love, acceptance, and guidance.   That work continues today at The Bridge and our counselors play a role in bridging the gap between LGBT youth and parents when conflict arises about identity, gender, and lifestyle.

There continues to be a disproportionate number of homeless youth who identify as LGBT.  These young people struggle with  parent, family, and community acceptance and depression, mental health and chemical addiction issues are higher than in the general youth population.

The Bridge for Youth offers core services that support straight and LGBT teens.  LGBT specific services include commitment to a facility that is designated a safe place (visible signs in the building), all staff trained in best practices for working with GLBT youth, intentional use of diverse populations in marketing materials, private room for transgender youth in our Emergency Shelter, hosting a weekly support group for GLBT teens, and supporting youth in the community with specific outreach strategies.

Here’s how you can support our mission:

3 Ways to Support The Bridge for Youth and LGBT Teens:

  1. Visit The Bridge for Youth’s Booth BO37 at Twin Cities PRIDE.

  2. “Like” our new facebook page So What if I Am?

  3. Read the recent article in Lavender Magazine about our weekly LGBT teen support group, So What if I Am?  (see page 160) and share it with teens

In the Fall, The Bridge for Youth will host an event for parents of LGBT Teens.  With 40+ years of expertise working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens and their parents, we can provide helpful information that will support and sustain family relationships.