Fun. Support. Advocacy.

welcome.

The OutCenter of Southwest Michigan provides support services and resources to LGBTQ+ people, their families, and allies. We also work to create change in Southwest Michigan through initiatives based on education and strong strategic partnerships.

In 2021, the OutCenter continued to make great progress, and set new precedents, helping to make Southwest Michigan an inclusive area with great impacts for kids, families, employers, and employees.
Here are some highlights:

  • 418 policies and practices promoted, enacted, and/or modified.
  • 353 families and school staff members received assistance.
  • Worked with 25+ area school communities as well as Berrien RESA.
  • Reaching more than 11,000 elementary, middle, high school, and college students.
  • 22 partner organizations organized to provide more robust and appropriate services to LGBTQ+ people and their families.
The Drop in Center
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The Drop In Center provides open office hours every Tuesday through Friday from 3pm to 5:30pm. It is a space for conversation as well as a source of community resources like affirming healthcare providers, legal representation, and faith communities.

OutCenter Chats
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OutCenter Chats are moderated group discussions focused on meeting new people, exploring LGBTQ+ topics, and providing support in times of need. We are offering three different groups: Queer Chats, Writers Chats, and Book Chats. 

  • Queer Chats is offered twice a month and is a space for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to talk about LGBTQ+ topics in a casual setting. 
  • Writers Chats is offered once a month and is a place for writers to write and talk about writing. It is an open discussion and workshop for creative projects. 
  • Book Chats is offered once a month and is a discussion of queer literature. Announcements regarding book selection and reading schedule can be found on social media and our program calendar.
Tag Me In
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Tag Me In is an initiative to activate LGBTQ+ people and their allies in the community from school board meetings to voter registration. We believe that civil engagement is necessary to see our communities grow in empathy and equity. When you join, we will send you information, talking points, and updates about any new projects we need your help with. If you are interested in getting involved, click here to visit our Tag Me In page!

Brave Schools Collaborative
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The LGBTQ+ Brave Schools Collaborative is a multifaceted project to help schools become more inclusive of LGBTQ+ students. We provide workshops and assistance to school staff and youth (such as cultural knowledge and best practices), as well as support to families within the school system. This work is guided by a local and strategic alliance of schools, school community professionals, and support systems. Please request workshops by emailing info@outcenter.org.

Teen Pride
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Teen Pride is a bi-weekly space for LGBTQ+ teens and their allies hosted at OutCenter Southwest Michigan every other Wednesday. In addition to this, we also partner with local schools and students to create and maintain GSA clubs throughout the community. 

Victim Services
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Equality Michigan offers advocacy for victims as well as community building programs that they can teach on location. They provide legal and emotional support, training, and guidance to LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations.

This service is available by appointment-info@outcenter.org

Medicaid Enrollment
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The goal of this project is to explain the benefits of Medicaid, as well as increase the number of enrollees in the state of Michigan. We have partnered with other Michigan-based organizations like Affirmations and OutCare, as well as participated in online campaigns through social media. See if you qualify here

COVID-19 Vaccinations
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We are proud to continue the important work of promoting the COVID-19 vaccination and direct our community members as to where they can obtain them. If you are interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, visit vaccines.gov to find a site near you.

Coffee Hours
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We offer meeting times on Mondays at Forte Coffee right next to the OutCenter. Community members can sign up for an appointment slot on our Program Calendar to speak with one of our staff members.

Check out what's happening
this month...

happening now at the OutCenter

We can hardly believe it, but it's December already! Here's our line-up of programs for the next month, starting with Faith Chat tonight at 6pm☃️

Next week we have another Tag Me In meeting and Writers Chat, and we'll end the month with a Holiday Potluck and Adult D&D❄️ Check out our website for a complete programs calendar, and don't forget about #WorldAIDSDay tonight at The Livery!
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Tomorrow is #WorldAIDSDay, and our community partners @cares.swm are hosting an event at @liverybrew! Join us from 5-8pm for some food and fun as we come together in solidarity for people affected by HIV, and learn about what World AIDS Day means for our community❤️ See you there! ...

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It’s happening and it’s all thanks to YOU! As of 5pm EST, we’ve raised $3,500🙌 Help us keep the momentum going by continuing to share and donate! #givingtuesday #supportyourcommunity ...

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Our small team is working toward exponential growth in the coming year, and that means we need you now more than ever! Help us raise funds to provide more resources, staff, and programming in 2023✨ Even a $5 donation can help us reach our goal. Click the link in our bio to donate during this worldwide day of #givingback🌎 ...

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Don't forget tomorrow's the day...#GivingTuesday! Join millions across the world in a beautiful day of fundraising by supporting our mission, resources, and programing.

You can donate and/or set up a #crowdfunding page at the link in our bio🏳️‍🌈
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