360°kids has launched its vital Queer Agenda (QA) program in York Region, thanks, in part, to $25,000 from Hydro One’s Energizing Life Community Fund.
With this funding, 360°kids has created a peer-led initiative with the purpose of reducing barriers faced by youth when accessing housing and shelter supports. Part of the QA mission is to combat homophobia and transphobia by offering education, resources and programming in a hybrid format, for both staff and young people in shelter settings and within the community, according to a Hydro One news release.
“The biggest impact of this Hydro One grant will be the capacity to allow us to better serve the 2SLGBTQIA+ youth accessing our services,” said Jesse Vacarciuc, program co-ordinator of the Queer Agenda program. “With this grant, participants will receive gender-affirming supports and social groups where they will engage in activities that allow them the opportunity to share their feelings, challenges and fears in a safe and supportive environment.”
“Hydro One is incredibly proud to support this program, which works tirelessly to build a better and brighter future for the community,” said Jay Armitage, vice-president, communications and marketing, at Hydro One. “Through programs like the Queer Agenda, 360°kids plays a critical role in helping kids in our community live their most authentic lives, and we applaud the centre’s dedication and commitment.”
Last weekend, 360°kids celebrated with all of York Region at the 10th anniversary of the York Pride parade in Newmarket. The the parade, which is the biggest event of the York Pride Festival, featured more than 2,500 participants and 50 floats. 360°kids presented information about its programs, including on topics such as queer identities and expression, QTBIPOC intersectionality, community involvement and safety.
The Energizing Life Community Fund supports community-led initiatives that promote physical, emotional, and psychological safety and well-being for Ontarians. This year’s Energizing Life Community Fund grant recipients provide needed mental health services to families and children of first responders, rural and Indigenous communities, and seniors, foster environmental sustainability through art and recreation, and provide critical health services to ensure local communities stay safe and well.
To learn more about the Energizing Life Community Fund, visit www.HydroOne.com/EnergizingLife.