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Community Outreach
  
Background

SunServe constantly strives to build partnerships with other agencies, universities, health care providers, and social service organizations to address the multiple needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons in South Florida. Affiliations with various organizations enable SunServe to address such community concerns as homelessness for LGBTQ youth. SunServe partners with governmental and grassroots groups to better serve these and others shunted to the social margins in South Florida.

The goal of our outreach program is to develop proactive initiatives that reduce the instances of violence, abuse, neglect, addiction, and self-destructive behaviors. We are dedicated to providing supportive programming that foster behavioral, emotional, psychological, and relational health at the root sources.

Below are examples of our current Community Outreach Projects.



The Valuing Our Families Annual Conference
 
Mission | Objectives | About Awards | Awards Archive | News
Valuing Our Families
 

 
Conference Mission

Our Annual Valuing Our Families series of programs reaches out to the entire community to educate, advocate for, and empower our LGBTQ families of every size and shape. At our Annual Awards Gala, we honor national, State, and local individuals who have contributed to promoting equality and respect for our LGBTQ youth and families. Sharon Gless, our National Spokesperson, joins us each year to present our National Award. Past recipients have included Sharon herself, Rosie and Kelly O’Donnell, Armistead Maupin, Barney Frank, Peter Paige, and Brad Altman and George Takei.

The two “mini conferences” held in the Fall of each year, and the annual full conference in the Spring are designed for all who value the contribution of lesbians and gay men to the American family in all its diversity. These innovative conferences proudly raise up our own family values for all to see, whether it is our family of origin, our partners and children, or the deep and familial bonds of friendship that is often so powerfully supportive in the gay community. We honor those who value our families in their many forms, who advocate for our families and who celebrate the values that make our families strong in the midst of adversity of all kinds.

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Our Objectives

To honor and strengthen the many ways we bond for support, nurturance, challenge, and growth
To deepen awareness of the life giving power in all our diverse ways of being family
To enhance our relational, parenting, mentoring and care giving skills
To gather in joyful celebration of who we are as family
To proclaim the contributions we make to the larger communities of which we are a part
To recognize those who are our friends, advocates, mentors and leaders
To provide training and education for professionals in the community who serve the LGBTQ community

 

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THE ANNUAL VALUING OUR FAMILIES AWARDS

The Valuing Our Families Awards are given annually at the Spring Conference to honor those who as individuals, or as a couple or family:

1. Have served as advocates on behalf of the gay and lesbian "family." Examples include, but are not limited to: someone who has witnessed to the legitimacy and value of gay relationships, or who has advocated for partnership rights or family concerns in schools, courts and the workplace, etc. Or it could be someone who has served as an advocate for the needs of young people who are struggling with issues of coming out, or someone who has sought to change public policy to respect gay and lesbian youth, families or seniors.

2. Have especially empowered the gay family: Examples include, but are not limited to: someone who has provided ongoing support and encouragement to gay and lesbian families, or who has done direct service work to assist gay and lesbian families who are at risk, or someone who has changed practices in social service delivery to recognize gay and lesbian relationships, or who has taken on special family responsibilities such as adopting children others would have otherwise been overlooked.

3. Have publicly celebrated the new realities of gay and lesbian family life: Examples include, but are not limited to: someone who has presented a positive or healing image of our relationships through the media, or by publicly acknowledging the gifts that gay and lesbian families have given the community at large, or by providing leadership in our community to raise our own awareness of how we contribute to the communities where we live, or families who publicly honor and affirm their gay children.

See Awards Archive from past Valuing Our Families Conferences.

Stay tuned to our News page for information on the next Valuing Our Families Conference!

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EAGLE (End Abuse for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere)
Domestic Violence Project


SunServe has partnered with the South Florida Gay and Lesbian Community Center (GLCC Pride Center) and Women in Distress, Broward County’s leading social service agency for domestic violence concerns, to raise awareness about domestic violence in same sex relationships. The joint venture provides education, support, counseling, and assistance to gay men and lesbians who are victims of domestic violence. A full range of services is available for the LGBTQ community so that no one need suffer domestic violence afraid, unprotected, or alone. For more information on SunServe's Intimate Partner Abuse support group, click here.



For more information on Community Outreach Projects, contact:

Jim Lopresti, PhD, LMHC
Director of Clinical Education,
Senior Clinical Supervisor
954.957.5616
jlopresti@sunserve.org





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