CoastPride, the up-and-coming organization interested in LGTBQ support in Half Moon Bay, will begin hosting drop-in sessions at Enso on Kelly Avenue.
Jenny Walter, who previously worked with the San Mateo County LGTBQ Commission, has been part of CoastPride since its inception last May.
“I truly believe it’s important for any nonprofit to be responsive to the needs of the community,” Walter said.
With that in mind, CoastPride will be hosting two kinds of drop-in sessions at Enso, one for parents of LGTBQ youth and another for the youth themselves. The groups for parents and caregivers will happen every fourth Wednesday of the month, and those in attendance can get information and learn from various experiences of LGBTQ youth.
From 4 to 6 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month, LGBTQ youth are encouraged to attend the open, safe space meetings to share experiences, find a community, or just hang out. The group’s first meeting will be Aug. 7.
CoastPride was built from the needs of the community. At a meeting at the Half Moon Bay Public Library in May, Walter and those in attendance heard from both parents and youth alike of a need to create an inclusive environment to educate and develop an LGTBQ community for adults and kids on the coast. CoastPride uses resources from elsewhere, specifically Outlet, a program from the Adolescent Counseling Services based in Redwood City. That program has been running free confidential peer support groups since 1997.
Walter said after an initial meeting, there was a strong sense that something had to be done on the Coastside.
“I was blown away by how much support there was in a short space of time,” she said.
As the organization tries to raise its profile while awaiting its nonprofit status next month, Walter and the rest of CoastPride founding members will keep doing their best to serve the needs of their community.