Representatives of a Naperville-based organization that provides support services for LGBTQ+ youth recently told a Democratic group that they would be open to having a site in Kendall County for youth to gather.
Youth Outlook, according to its website, provides "a safe, supportive, and respectful environment for adolescents, whether they identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning."
The organization provides what they call "drop-in centers," where LGBTQ+ youth can meet once a week and talk with others about topics that matter to them. The centers host weekly meetings at churches in Naperville, Palatine and Geneva, as well as in DeKalb, Ottawa and Sterling.
Youth Outlook Executive Director Nancy Mullen and other representatives of the organization gave a presentation to the Democratic Women of Kendall County on Jan. 24 about who they are and what they do.
Julie Gondar, president of the Democratic Women of Kendall County, asked Mullen what the organization needs to establish a drop-in center in Kendall County. Mullen said there is a list of standards and that the organization's board of directors must approve the location.
Marie Grover, a former Oswego resident and board member, said Youth Outlook spoke to her as her brother came out at age 20 in an unsupportive environment.
"They provide a place for kids to be themselves, and that's really, really important," she said.
Robyn Vickers of Oswego said there is a need for services like those provided by Youth Outlook in the Kendall County area.
"We need to support them, we need to find a way to expand them out here or make sure kids know of places they can go," she said.