DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society has been awarded a BC Multiculturalism grant of $5,000 toward its Together Now LGBTQ+ Peer Support Group.
“While COVID-19 increased the social isolation of many, a majority of LGBTQ+ people experience isolation as a regular part of their lives. For LGBTQ+ newcomers to Canada, this isolation can be even more harmful! Therefore, initiatives like DIVERSEcity’s Together Now program are integral to tackling this sense of physical, cultural, emotional and social isolation,” says Kristi Pinderi, LGBTQ+ Support Worker, DIVERSEcity.
Often faced with being a “minority within a minority,” LGBTQ+ immigrants and refugees experience complexities navigating the settlement process in Canada. Together Now, developed in 2018, is a free support group that offers a safe and confidential space for newcomers, regardless of immigration status, to learn about community resources, share experiences, get emotional support and be part of an inclusive community.
Together Now members meet weekly on Mondays at 5 pm (virtually right now due to COVID-19). The group is facilitated by Kristi, an LGBTQ+ activist originally from Albania who started as a participant himself in the first year of the Together Now program.
“The BC Multiculturalism Grant is an excellent resource that will enable Together Now to diversify and strengthen the ways we will be able to assist LGBTQ+ newcomers to come together to build meaningful connections and support each other,” adds Kristi.
DIVERSEcity’s project is one of 192 new projects that is receiving support through the BC Multiculturalism Grants program. Projects focus on build intercultural interaction, trust and understanding, or challenge racism, hate and systemic barriers. (See the full list of recipients here and the news release here)