SMYRC Youth Resource Center



SMYRC Youth Resource Center

Since 1998, SMYRC, the Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Resource Center, has created safety and support for LGBTQQ youth in Oregon, through youth empowerment, community building, education and direct services.

SMYRC provides a safe, supervised, harassment-free, and alcohol- and drug-free space for sexual and gender minority youth 23 and younger. Youth gather to participate in positive activities like art, music, community organizing, youth development, education, peer support, support groups, case management, counseling, and job readiness preparation.

SMYRC provides the only drop-in resource center for sexual and gender minority youth in Oregon. We also bring safe space and developmentally appropriate programming to other youth environments through our community education and outreach efforts. SMYRC programs align with key youth development benchmarks, like increasing academic success, reducing poverty and preventing juvenile crime. The support that youth find at SMYRC helps them stay in school, become leaders in their communities, and make responsible personal decisions.

Credible national research shows that sexual minority youth face high risk in many ways. Suicide is the leading cause of death among lesbian and gay adolescents. Without community support LGBTQQ youth are two times more likely to use alcohol, and three times more likely to use marijuana than their heterosexual peers; and they are eight times more likely to use crack/cocaine. Furthermore, LGBTQQ youth experience social and community isolation as a result of homophobia. On the other hand there is conclusive evidence that LGBTQQ youth are likely to thrive when participating in organized, adult supervised after school activities, meaning that they’re more likely to succeed in their education, and lead happy, healthy, contributing lives.

SMYRC makes a difference.

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