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2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment launches

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CHICAGO — Wednesday, October 17 marks the beginning of the data collection period for the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment, conducted by Morten Group, LLC on behalf of The LGBT Community Fund, a donor-advised fund of The Chicago Community Trust.

The Steering Committee of The LGBT Community Fund has retained Morten Group to conduct the needs assessment in order to gather data on current strengths, assets, needs and challenges of the Chicagoland LGBTQ community. Morten Group conducted the first needs assessment of this nature for The LGBT Community Fund in 2011; this new assessment will allow for comparison of the data, and an updated snapshot of the community's needs in 2018.

A press breakfast briefing will be held on Wednesday, October 17 at Howard Brown Health Clark, 6500 N. Clark St., Chicago, at 9 a.m. to kick off the project. The briefing will include light breakfast, a presentation of the data from the 2011 needs assessment, an overview of the upcoming process for the 2018 needs assessment, and a question-and-answer period with Denise C. Foy and Adnaan Hamid, Co-Chairs, The LGBT Community Fund; and Mary F. Morten, President, and Dr. Keisha Farmer-Smith, Senior Consulting Associate, of Morten Group. To RSVP, please contact .

The first comprehensive LGBT Community Needs Assessment was conducted by Morten Group on behalf of the LGBT Community Fund in the fall of 2011, with an 11-week data collection period from October through December of that year and a data report release in June of 2012. Over 2,000 individuals responded to four data collection tools: an online survey, paper data cards, focus groups, and individual interviews. More than 60 organizational community partners and individual community leaders collaborated by sharing the survey, collecting data cards, and hosting focus groups.

The top five needs identified by respondents included ( in order ): 1 ) Healthcare, 2 ) Access to government benefits, rights and services ( including marriage equality ), 3 ) Employment, 4 ) Community Safety, and 5 ) Discrimination based on class, race or age. Since the data report was released in 2012, it has been downloaded hundreds of times by researchers, students, and organizational leaders around the world, and has helped inform similar needs assessment projects in other communities.

The 2018 LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment will involve a streamlined data gathering process, focusing primarily on the online survey, as well as data cards and several focus groups from October of 2018 through January of 2019. "We have updated our data collection tools, focusing on accessibility and gender inclusion," said Mary Morten, President, Morten Group. "At Morten Group, we use a participatory action model for data collection, engaging in a variety of ways with a multiplicity of stakeholders invested in the assessment process."

The LGBT Community Fund began in 2010 with an operating grant from The Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust and a grant from The Chicago Community Trust. The Fund exists to provide strategic support to nonprofit organizations serving the Chicago-area LGBTQ community, and aims to address a wide range of needs. In 2015, the LGBT Community Fund's first round of funding awarded $282,500 in IMPACT Grants, providing seed money and supporting capacity building. In 2016, the second round of funding awarded $350,000 in Transformational Grants, supporting innovative projects reaching traditionally underserved populations. In 2017, the third round of funding distributed $315,000 in Community Grants addressing urgent and underserved needs ( healthcare, safety, and youth and senior services ).

"From the earliest days of the LGBT Community Fund, we have been deeply committed to understanding the community's needs, so that we can most effectively fund work that addresses those needs," said Denise C. Foy, Co-Chair, the LGBT Community Fund. "Each person who shared their needs in the 2011 needs assessment not only contributed to important community research, but helped inform the allocation of nearly $1 million in grant funding from 2015-2017" added Adnaan Hamid, Co-Chair, the LGBT Community Fund. "We look forward to strong community participation in the 2018 needs assessment as well."

The press briefing to kick off the 2018 LGBT Community Needs Assessment will be held at Howard Brown Health Clark, 6500 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL, on Wednesday, October 17, with light breakfast at 9 a.m. and a presentation beginning at 9:30 a.m. To RSVP, please email .

—From a press release

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