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Ottawa Youth to Set Content for Awareness Video
Youth service directory also planned as cash infusion boosts local agency

Rainbow Youth Drop-In Staffers Kim & Neill
THE Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton is planning the production of a GLBTQ awareness and anti-homophobia video which will incorporate the views and input of local teens, gayottawanow.com learned today.

To be produced by a local media company, the video's content will be decided by youth volunteers, announced Kim Meechan, Project Manager of the Bureau's Rainbow Youth Drop-In Programs.

"It will be a 10-minute video to be used in the schools and made available to other organizations," explained Kim.  The production's theme will be consistent with that of existing services offered by the agency:  reducing homophobia and increasing GLBTQ awareness, she said.

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A special directory for youth is also set to be produced.  It will list and describe services available locally, and resemble existing Community "pink" directories generally available in cities.

The funding for these productions comes from a recently received Ontario Trillium Foundation Community Grant of $45,000.  The new funds will also be put toward school outreach and to boost the Rainbow Youth Drop-In programs.

In fact, the reason for the agency applying for the grant in March 1999 was so that the (west-end) Drop-In could be complemented by one in the east end.

"It took so long to receive we just went ahead and started [the east end Drop-In] anyway," said Kim.

The funding will allow staff to properly promote both Drop-In's with more school outreach in order to increase awareness.
But the money, now that it's been received, will allow Kim and staff to properly promote both Drop-In's with more time doing school outreach in order to increase awareness of the programs for GLBTQ teens in greater Ottawa.  And to produce the video and directory, too.

Youth interested in either contributing to the video production or getting information on the Rainbow Youth Drop-In's can contact Kim at kimm@ysb.on.ca or (613) 596-5621 X25.  Their website is at ysb.on.ca/rindex.htm.

The West-End Rainbow Youth Drop-In started in 1998 as a way for GLBTQ youth in Ottawa's west end to get together without having to go downtown.  Youth assisted in developing an agenda for the first year and attendance now is around 6-10 teens at each Drop-In.

The Ottawa-Carleton Youth Services Bureau receives funding from the Ontario Ministry of Community & Social Services, the Region of Ottawa-Carleton, the United Way, and private donations.