COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROJECT

SUMMARIES OF FINDINGS

About

Our community engagement project occurred throughout the last half of 2021. It consisted of Zoom sessions and a survey. These sessions and surveys focused on hearing from services users who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ on their experiences when accessing support services around Calgary/Moh’kinsstis, what’s helpful for service users when accessing support services, and what services/programming they’re looking for (or more of).

We had a total of 82 participants. Thank you to everyone who participated! 

 

Findings

These findings apply to various support services that services users have accessed. These include peer support, mental health, physical health, financial services, basic needs, and many more.  

 

Survey

 

  • Many types of services were accessed by participants over the last two years. The top services accessed were for physical health and mental health, financial, basic needs, and peer support. 

 

  • Many of these were accessed due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic

 

  • One third did not feel like they got the support they were looking for the last time they accessed a support service

 

  • Feelings of safety, correct pronoun usage, and being treated with kindness and respect were consistent issues for most participants when accessing services

 

  • More than three quarters of participants experienced challenges or barriers when accessing services

 

  • Most barriers were related to fear around identity (not understanding or respecting identity or being outed by using a certain service), as well as cost to accessing a service. Other common barriers included wait times being too long and having Covid anxiety. 

 

  • Common accessibility barriers were services not being accessible by transit, no free parking available, no gender neutral washrooms available, and the building not having elevators, ramps, or hallways/doorways big enough for wheelchairs and walkers. 

 

Some supports, services, and programming that most participants are looking for from organizations in general are as follows:

 

  • More support for newcomers

 

  • More programming for Indigenous community members

 

  • More programming for racialized community members

 

  • More social community events

 

  • More volunteer opportunities

Community engagement sessions:

 

Common themes:

 

  • Better accessibility to resources (ex. Expansive resource lists, better networks to find resources, one place to find resources, printed copies)

 

  • Increased programming for BIPOC

 

  • Importance of sexual and gender diversity training, anti-racism, and anti-ableism training for service providers and health practitioners

 

  • Importance of education/awareness for general public about 2SLGBTQ+ people

 

  • Mistreatment/confusion by health practitioners when treating sexual and gender diverse patients

 

  • Importance of discrimination policies in service provision

 

  • Accessibility issues for non-status residents and refugees when accessing services 

 

  • Opportunities for community connection and education 

 

  • Improved accessibility of services for youth 

 

  • Importance of youth involvement

 

  • Increased programming outreach to diverse communities

 

Questions:

If you have any questions, please email zak@calgaryoutlink.ca.

Funding:

This project was funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada through the Government of Canada and The Enchanté Network.

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