Wayside Youth & Family Support Network Receives $7,500 Grant from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network Receives $7,500 Grant from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation


March 1, 2022
Contact: Nick Kane
[email protected]

CHARLTON, MA – Wayside Youth & Family Support Network received a grant of $7,500 from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation (GWCF). Wayside will use the grant to launch the agency’s PrideSide program at our Charlton site. The grant allows Wayside to better serve the increasing needs of the LGBTQ+ youth in and around the Charlton area by providing free groups and activities for youth ages 12-18. At Charlton PrideSide, the goal is for LGBTQ+ youth to have a safe space to share their experiences, socialize, engage in advocacy and participate in activities in their community.

“Wayside Charlton is incredibly thankful for the support from the GWCF,” said program director Jessica Santos, Wayside Charlton Community Services. “This grant allows us to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in southern Worcester County to explore their identity, make connections and develop advocacy skills so that they can become active participants in their community.”

“Since launching PrideSide, Wayside has worked to connect LGBTQ+ youth to supports that will have a positive impact on their health and wellness,” said Eric Masi, chief executive officer of Wayside. “These needs have only amplified during the pandemic. Thanks to the GWCF we continue to provide the space and services for LGBTQ+ youth to connect with peers and adults in the Greater Worcester area.”

Research has shown that LGBTQ+ youth who are rejected by their parents, caregivers and peers are: at very high risk for health and mental health problems when they become young adults; more than eight times as likely to attempt suicide; six times as likely to report high levels of depression and three times as likely to use illegal drugs.

For more information about Charlton PrideSide, please call 774.249.1290.

About Wayside Youth & Family Support Network:

Founded in 1977, Wayside Youth & Family Support Network is a nonprofit, nationally accredited human services agency headquartered in Framingham, Mass. that is dedicated to building strength, hope and resiliency through its family-based outreach services, residential treatment programs, and community-based counseling services to more than 6,000 children, youth, and families throughout Eastern, Central and Northeastern Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.waysideyouth.org.

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