It all starts with getting the right people at the table.
The goal of a True Colors Community Initiative is to unite folks working across various sectors to end LGBTQ youth homelessness in their community! We’re talking service providers, educators, advocates, government officials, funders, business owners, and – most importantly – youth themselves.
True Colors United acts as a coach throughout the process, making sure all the players on the team have the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. We do this by providing a national perspective and technical assistance around LGBTQ inclusion, youth collaboration, and project management.
From needs assessment to project management.
Our Community Initiatives begin with a needs-assessment of the local community so that we know what we’re working with. Using the information learned from the assessment, we then work with community leaders over a period of six to nine months to develop a comprehensive plan to address the issue. This plan is customized to suit the community’s specific needs. Past plans have included everything from creating 24-hour drop-in centers to increasing affordable housing options to educating community leaders about the needs of LGBTQ youth.
The technical assistance we provide during the planning process includes:
- Best practices around creating inclusive and affirming spaces for LGBTQ young people,
- Youth collaboration philosophies to ensure young people with lived experience are a part of the solution.
- Project management practices to help local communities stay focused and organized throughout the planning process.
In our first visit to a community, we provide an overview of the strategic planning process and deliver a training on LGBTQ inclusion. The coalition develops subcommittees, delegates roles and responsibilities, and conducts a SWOT analysis to identify the community's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Finally, the coalition develops and launches a community needs assessment.
In the second phase of the Community Initiative, we review results from the needs assessment, evaluate project proposals, and deliver a youth collaboration training. The visit culminates with the development of project charters, which will make up the community's strategic plan.
The Community Initiative process culminates with a public event to celebrate the launch of the community's strategic plan. Coalition members also receive project management training so they can effectively implement the various projects in their portfolio.