A West Warwick nonprofit is among eight organizations that will share $53,000 in grants from the Rhode Island Foundation through its Equity Action Fund, which supports the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities.
"These organizations work to ensure the health, safety and fair treatment of all LGBTQ Rhode Islanders," said Adrian Bonéy, who oversees Equity Action at the Foundation. "This important work is enhanced by strengthening alliances between nonprofits working to address the most critical needs of Rhode Island's LGBTQ communities, including investments in health, education and the arts, as well as issues critical to young and elderly members of the community."
Thundermist Health Center received $8,000 to support its Trans Health and Wellness Program. The grant will enable the organization to expand its social- and community-building events to improve the physical and mental health and wellness of the trans community.
"Our patients face many barriers to participating in community events. We focus on fun, engaging activities that promote health and wellness and reduce social isolation," said Jayeson Watts, who is director of Thundermist's Trans Health Access Team.
The goal is to stage 50 events per year. The programming includes yoga, swimming, fitness classes, music therapy and game night. Thundermist serves more than 800 patients through its Trans Health and Wellness Program, up from fewer than 600 a year ago.
"For some, this is often their first interaction with us, and then they feel safe enough to enter medical or behavioral health care as a result," said Watts. "Alternatively, sometimes people who already are our patients have little-to-no contact with the broader trans community, and the program serves as a bridge for them into a larger community in which they can gain support."
Family Service of Rhode Island, Girls Rock! RI, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, New Urban Arts, Project Weber/RENEW, SAGE-Rhode Island and Sojourner House also received grants.