Today, I want to share 23-year-old Freddie’s experience with Rainbow:
Being at Rainbow feels very calming. You don’t have to stress. I’m staying in a shelter right now, and my case manager there connected me to Rainbow. It’s really helped me out a lot.
When you’re at Rainbow, your stress levels go down, and it’s great to have that support. Everybody is not exactly the same as me, but it’s like we all have a basic general understanding that it’s OK to be yourself here. And that’s pretty cool.
I’m currently attending community college, studying psychology. I got interested in psychology in high school when I took psychology and sociology classes, and they were really fun. After I get my degree, I’d like to go into social work because I want to give back to the community. Being a homeless LGBTQ youth, I want to help people the way people have helped me.
Rainbow has restored my confidence, so I can feel comfortable in a work environment. They assist LGBTQ youth with clothes and transportation they need for job interviews and on the job. I couldn’t have gotten my job without Rainbow. Having this job has given me an opportunity to grow as a person, to learn how to take care of myself and be responsible for my own life. It’s a lot of fun, honestly. My co-workers are really sweet, and the customers are nice, hard-working people. My job has shown me that I can work toward something better than minimum wage.
You can get support at Rainbow that you might never have had but always needed. If you need transportation or a place to live, Rainbow has your back. You can call them really late, and they’ll always answer your call. They won’t leave you hanging. They’ll always be there to make sure you’re not out on the street.
Rainbow’s services are really important for your mental health and general safety. Everybody needs support and foundation, and you can’t get that foundation without having support. If you’re lost and don’t know where to go, Rainbow is a light at the end of the tunnel. They’ve helped me out in so many ways.
Dorann Zotigh is the board president of the Rainbow Center serving the LGBTQ community in Concord. Send questions and comments to Dodi@rainbowcc.org.