OUTSasktoon's Trans Care Fund and Counselling Services
Our Sweet Goodness partner for June is OUTSaskatoon, Saskatoon’s 2SLGBTQ+ community centre. We thought it would be great to see if there was anything they’d like to raise awareness about, and they asked to talk about their Trans Care Fund and counselling services.
Trans Care Fund
The Trans Care Fund was started in September 2021 with a grant from Affinity Credit Union. It is a microgrant available to transgender, non-binary and gender non-conformiing community members who need financial assistance with gender affirming care. There is an obvious need for help in this area, as there are no other organizations assisting or or doing this work in the province.
They have found that two of the biggest challenges with folks who are utilizing this fund are simple: time and money. The time it takes to get to see doctors, to be approved for surgeries and the access and travel time to get to the surgeries and the overall cost of taking time off of work, getting health care coverage and the cost of aftercare. These are just a couple of the challenges. Applicants who receive funding can use it towards these costs as well as identification document change, record checks and fingerprints and gender affirming gear.
Anyone seeking Gender Affirming Care and needing support with costs is eligible to apply for the grant. An application can be filled out through their website, and all applications are reviewed on a monthly basis. The fund is always being utilized and, thanks to support from organizations like Affinity Credit Union and Hardpressed, whenever money comes in, money goes back out to the people. Since the Trans Care Fund was started, OUTSaskatoon has had $15k go out!
OUTSaskatoon’s counselling services provide free short-term counselling for individuals who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity, mental health concerns, address minority stress experiences and also support parents, family, and friends of the LGBTQ2S community who need aid and resources to foster supportive relationships with LGBTQ2S loved ones. Our counsellors provide 2SLGBTQ-affirming therapies and are trauma-informed practitioners.
Finding access to free counselling is nearly impossible unless you have a full time job with benefits. OUTSaskatoon wanted to remove that barrier for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and create a counselling program that was easy to navigate and access. There are no limits on how many times someone can use the service support can be short term or long term. They offer both remote and in person counselling.
In the past year they’ve had over 1,000 appointments with community members, and recently expanded to three full time counsellors. The service will continue to grow and change to meet the needs of the community.
June is Pride Month, and OUTSaskatoon has some upcoming events!
June 14: They’ll have a table set up for Spark Your Pride
June 15: Gaybourhood right outside of OUTSaskatoon; BBQ, merch and a gay ol' time!
June 17: Youth Prom; RSVP by emailing email@example.com
June 18th: Pride Parade; They will be attending and will have a table set up at the Community Fair!
Check out the OUTSaskatoon website for more information on their counselling services, the Trans Care Fund and any other questions you may have!
You can contribute to our Sweet Goodness program by adding some sugar cookies to your order. For every cookie sold, we'll donate $1.00 to OUTSaskatoon!
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Very informative article Gabe, thank you!