Are you youth? We are, too!
“Coming to Odyssey gave me friends that didn’t constantly criticize me. Odyssey has also given me a safe place to hang out.”
“Odyssey to me is a safe place where you can hang out with people who are facing issues like you.”
“At Odyssey I can be me without worrying about other people judging me.”
You might be suprised how easy it can be to meet someone going through the same things you are! Odyssey is an open, free, confidential, drop-in center for LGBTQ youth ages 14-21. We are open three nights each week on Wednesdays, ages 18-21, 3:30-8 p.m., Thursdays, ages 14-17, 3:30-8 p.m., and Fridays, all ages 3:30-9 p.m.
When you first come to Odyssey, ask to meet the adult facilitator. S/he will show you around the center. It can be a big step to walk in alone, so it's OK to call us in advance and ask for someone to meet you. Also, you don't have to give us your (real) name or any contact information. However, you will be asked to read and sign the center's rules and expectations form.
Each night at Odyssey there is a meal, activity or educational programming, and social time. We have a kitchen, computers, stereo and TV, Wii, board games, ping pong and supplies for arts and crafts. You can also study in the LGBTQ resource library/quiet room.
Remember, we are all here to make life better for each other as LGBTQ youth. At Odyssey, you are free to be your true self.
What activities do we offer?
Youth drive the programming at Odyssey. And there's always something going on! You can learn how to balance a checkbook, fill out financial aid forms, or register for personal identification. All programming is voluntary. Some programs last an hour; others are spread out over several weeks. Odyssey's 'teachers" are experts from various community agencies or, sometimes, just adult facilitators offering their skills.
For example, Odyssey offers a 10-week program that teaches social justice, critical thinking, organizing, and leadership skills. It's called "Odyssey Out Loud!" or OOL. Through OOL you can learn to fight school bullying and harassment, ask for better sex education in your classrooms, or learn how to apply social change theory (ways to make things better) to local problems. OOL is required for members of the Teen Board or anyone who wants to represent Odyssey to the public.
In the last few months we've offered information on:
Health and wellness
What is the Teen Board?
This group is responsible for organizing youth fund-raisers and other social events, promoting the center, welcoming new members, and being positive role models. To join the Teen Board, you must participate in OOL and commit to meeting once a week. Teen Board members are representatives and leaders. Once a month they are responsible for reporting back to the entire center on their activities. To ensure that youth voices are heard in issues of policy and strategy, a member of Teen Board is invited to attend the monthly Board of Directors meeting.