MAY COMPASSION OFFERING
OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center
OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center has served the Madison area since 1973, providing community building, health and human services, and economic, social, and racial justice advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies. OutReach has staff advocates that offer peer support, information, and referral in three main areas: substance use and harm reduction, transgender services, and elder services (for those over age 50). We also host social and support groups for people from all across the LGBTQ+ community where people can come together to discuss their lives, learn new skills, or just watch a movie and have a good time! OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center houses the Earl Greely Memorial Library, an over-4000 volume lending library of LGBTQ+ fiction and nonfiction, the David Bohnett Cybercenter, community meeting space, and a community pantry with food and personal essentials.
Funds raised will be used to support Willma’s Fund, a program of OutReach offering emergency financial assistance to LGBTQ+ adults in Dane County. Willma’s Fund was founded in 2011 by Donald Haar, a former employee of the Salvation Army and drag performer who goes by the name Willma Flynn-Stone. Donald recognized that LGBTQ+ people often face additional barriers when accessing support for homelessness or housing insecurity and saw a way to help (and get back into performing drag!). Since 2011, Willma’s Fund has awarded over $250,000 to over 500 people. In 2022 alone we awarded $50,000 to 120 people. We paid 35 people’s security deposits or first month’s rent, and provided over 400 nights of emergency shelter through short-term hotel stays. Willma’s Fund is a vital piece of our community’s efforts to protect its most vulnerable members.