KALEIDOSCOPE YOUTH CENTER
Who We Are: Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) exists to help LGBTQIA+ youth thrive, learn, lead, and be exactly who they were meant to be. As the largest and longest-serving organization of its kind in the state, KYC works in partnership with youth, ages 12 - 24, to create safer and more affirming spaces throughout Ohio. Services include a Drop-in Center, community education and training, advocacy and civic engagement, health and wellness programs, and housing opportunities.
What We Do: Belonging begins here, in the drop-in center in downtown Columbus - a safer, affirming, LGBTQIA+ friendly space staffed by qualified and compassionate allies, mentors, and members of the community. Whether it’s finding a supportive ear, a warm meal, space to breathe, or access to resources like personal care items, it’s here. KYC also provides education and training to business professionals, and supports a network of Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSAs) clubs in schools across the state. Plus, KYC’s housing opportunities center the needs of LGBTQIA+ young people 18 - 24, who may be homeless or unsafely housed; and as of 2022, provides free therapeutic services to youth 16 - 24.
Why We’re Important: LGBTQIA+ young people are 120 percent more likely to be homeless, they experience feelings of loneliness and isolation in ways their non-LGBTQIA+ counterparts can’t imagine, including anti-LGBTQ+ victimization at school. KYC’s programs prepare young people to stand strong and belong wherever they go. Young people at KYC find support in their peers, as well as personalized support from knowledgeable staff and adult mentors.
How We Impact the Community: We believe in leadership in thought and action. We work in partnership with youth to collaborate with educators and community members to help bring safe and more affirming culture to every corner of our community. KYC’s education and training programs help people understand the LGBTQIA+ experience, and help community leaders and lawmakers build better policies that’s good for everyone.
How You Can Help: #ItTakesAVillage to create a safer, more affirming world. Every hour volunteered, every dollar received, every message shared, brings us closer to a world where everyone experiences belonging. If you want to join our village, visit kycohio.org to learn all the ways you can support, donate, volunteer, and mentor LGBTQIA+ young people in our community.
Kaleidoscope Youth Center
603 E Town St. Columbus, OH 43215
Executive Director: Erin Upchurch, MSSA, LISW-S
Development Director: Jennifer Kuhn
Board Chair: Cliff Mason, MSW, MSEd