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Creating a Constellation of Services to Support Refugees in Minnesota

INTRODUCTION

This year, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed the Minnesota Trans Refuge Act, making Minnesota a safe haven for gender-affirming services and affected communities. Global research and survey organization Alturi set out to identify the services that Minnesota LGBTQ+-serving organizations currently provide and what resources will be needed to increase capacity to serve the adolescents and their families immigrating to Minnesota.


Alturi interviewed eight Minnesota organizations offering services to LGBTQIA+ individuals, with a focus on organizations that aid trans youth.

The surveyed organizations include:


Results of the interviews revealed a “strong foundation with numerous successful programs past and present, a promising future community center, and increased communication between organizations.” However, to meet the incoming community needs, staffing and funding levels will need to be increased for us to reach our full potential as a Sanctuary State.


FINDINGS

Many of the findings of this survey didn’t surprise us - for example, we knew QUEERSPACE collective is the ONLY organization offering 1:1 mentorship for LGBTQIA+ youth. The findings clearly laid out there is still a lot of room for expansion of services to meet the growing need in our community.


Take a look at this handy chart, created by the folks at Alturi:



See how there’s only one or two organizations offering specific, much-needed services? We at QUEERSPACE collective have seen our needs grow and change even within the last few months.


How can we ensure that our communal overall growth is in line with community needs?


FOCUS ON QUEERSPACE collective

As we think about the ways we must grow, we also reflect on opportunities to partner with other organizations that are better fitted for specific parts of our community. We’re grateful to each and every one of our partners for filling the service gaps. At this time, we are still the only youth mentorship program for Queer folx in Minnesota. We hope to continue to expand and grow our mentorship program, celebrating over 50 matches this fall.


GOING FORWARD

There are still unmet needs by our organizations in Minnesota as a whole. A greater need for institutional funding to support staffing, location expansion, and reaching communities in the Greater Minnesota area. We are each hopeful to see corresponding funding and aid for our organizations as our community continues to grow.


As the folx at Alturi stated, “By cooperating with each other, and with better funding, organizations in Minnesota will be better equipped to handle whatever the future may bring – although more funding to facilitate it will be crucial.”




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