Through the generosity of a local donor, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida commissioned community research into four potential areas of investment: services for LGBT elders, workplace supports, services for children and youth, and faith community resources. The findings provided valuable information about the current environment and informed the future grantmaking of the LGBT community fund.
Innovative work is being done in the community to educate providers about the needs of LGBT elders and there are significant opportunities (and need) to expand that work. A strong potential partner is ElderSource, and an emerging potential partner is Baptist Health.
Each workplace and employer is different, with the main common ground being the laws that govern employment practices. The primary opportunity to impact workplace conditions is to change the Human Rights Ordinance and provide a legal framework to address workplace issues. The committee, however, felt this issue was more appropriately addressed through other community ventures.
These are highly fragmented communities, and beliefs and attitudes about LGBT individuals are widely divergent. About two dozen local congregations are welcoming and affirming, but collaboration among them is not evident. Any investment would be at the individual congregation, rather than the community, level.