The B-Heard Needs Assessment of the B’ham Metro LGBTQ Community
A collaboration of stakeholders has come together to support a needs assessment of the LGBTQ community in the Birmingham metro area (Jefferson, Walker, Blount, St. Clair and Shelby Counties). The “B-Heard, Birmingham” Metro LGBTQ Needs Assessment will inform service providers and philanthropists about priorities for improvement in acceptance, affirmation and appropriateness of services in the areas of physical health, mental health, public safety, K-12 education, family support services and aging. Several existing organizations currently serve the LGBTQ community and their families yet numerous issues- sexual health, mental health, suicide risk, substance abuse, harassment, homelessness, and inappropriate treatment by mainstream education and service agencies are often overlooked. Additionally, the specific experiences of minorities, low-income individuals, aging and young LGBTQ’s need a voice.
The B Heard Needs Assessment will guide and help set priorities and an action plan for improving philanthropy and services for the LGBTQ population. Four issues will be addressed:
- What features create an environment that is accepting and affirming for the LGBTQ community?
- Are these features present?
- What are the unique needs of the LGBTQ community?
- What strengths and the challenges face organizations in the community as they attempt to create accepting and affirming environments and meet the unique needs of the LGBTQ community?
Phase 1: June-August 2015 -Interviews with service providers and with individuals and groups representing the diversity of the LGBTQ community will be conducted to gather data and to create a complete web based community survey.
Phase 2: September-October 2015 -Online web based community survey.
Phase 3: January 2016 -Results of the interviews, the survey and a summary of other relevant work will be complied into a final report.