Spectrum LGBTQ Community Youth Group

Looking for a fun, queer chat with people your age? Want to just hang out, eat some snacks and meet new friends? Are you interested in having some discussions about sexuality, identity, homophobia and your personal experience? YSB is proud to offer Spectrum, a weeklyTuesday evening program for LGBTQ+ youth in Ottawa!

How to access the program

Spectrum is wheelchair accessible, and meets every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at 147 Besserer St. Open to youth ages 12 to 25.

Get in touch with Spectrum, or check out their latest activities, on their Facebook page

We provide workshops, discussion groups, and art collaborations, as well as counselling services, peer mentoring, and primary care resources.

Spectrum can help with challenges like depression, anxiety and suicide while also offering practical support to navigate the mental health, housing and educational systems.

Spectrum is also a safe space for youth to:

  • Meet new people
  • Engage in workshops and discussions
  • Access services like showers, laundry, computers, telephones
  • Get referrals
  • Access trained counsellors and peer mentors if youth need to talk
  • Just hang out!

Each Tuesday evening offers:

  • An introduction to our space and expectations
  • A queer current events discussion
  • Activities
  • Access to snack during group, showers, laundry, harm reduction supplies, telephone, internet
  • Access to crisis counsellors from YSB and/or our in-house counsellor from Centretown Community Health Centre
  • A relaxed space where youth can be out and proud!

Contact: Michael-Sean Morgan
613-241-7788 ext. 413
MMorgan@ysb.ca

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Milo's Story

Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.

The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.

It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.

“For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.

Milo*

*While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy