$150,000 will help “In Our Own Voices” extend their services to the BIPOC LGBTQIA+ community in Troy
TROY, N.Y. – The City of Troy, recognizing the need for increased support for Troy’s BIPOC LGBTQIA+ communities, has awarded $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to In Our Own Voices, Inc. (IOOV). The funding will be matched with $50,000 from the Troy Redevelopment Foundation to support a new collaboration between In Our Own Voices and the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region. A new drop-in space with access to employment services, anti-violence and emergency aid, support for survivors of domestic abuse, health screenings, and youth programming will be located in the City of Troy.
“Recognizing the need for LGBTQIA+ services in our community, we worked with In Our Own Voices and the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region to improve the long-term safety and wellbeing of those most at-risk in our neighborhoods by creating a first-of-its-kind space for Troy’s LGBTQIA+ residents and families,” said Troy Mayor Patrick Madden. “All Trojans — especially our youth — deserve safe gathering spaces where they can express their full selves and connect with important resources and thanks to our work, our LGBTQIA+ neighbors will no longer need to travel out-of-county to access crucial services, as they often currently must.”
IOOV is dedicated to the holistic well-being and advancement of LGBTQIA+ people of color, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, political, cultural, and economic development.
"We are appreciative and grateful for this opportunity. Establishing a remote location in Troy is a commitment to extending crucial services to our community,” said Tandra LaGrone, CEO of In Our Own Voices. “This symbolizes the recognition of the value of inclusivity and the importance of fostering safe spaces for all. With this funding, In Our Own Voices can reach further, serve more, and make a lasting impact for those that need support.”
“Partnering with organizations like IOOV, ensures our communities have appropriate access to resources and education, which is critical to improving overall well-being,” said Starletta Renée, executive director of the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region. “We welcome the impactful work of IOOV into our community with enthusiasm and respect.”
ARPA funding will help IOOV extend its services to the Troy community with a dedicated youth drop-in space, emergency intervention and anti-violence initiatives. IOOV is working with the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region to secure a dedicated space to operate from, serving as IOOV’s first satellite location in Troy. IOOV is committed to exploring other spaces within the city to further expand the availability of services to Troy families and residents.
A portion of the funds will also be used to support initial staffing, materials and other startup costs associated with establishing the new satellite location.
“A nationally representative survey conducted in June 2020 by the Center for American Progress highlights that LGBTQ people of color are more likely than white LGBTQ individuals to encounter discrimination in a variety of settings.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), “over a majority of LGBTQ+ adults of color in the United States are facing significant mental health challenges today. LGBTQ+ high schoolers of color are also more likely to attempt suicide (27%) compared to LGBTQ+ high schoolers (22%) and non-LGBTQ+ high schoolers (5%) in the United States.” HRC’s annual reporting to record and memorialize those transgender and gender nonconforming people killed in a given year shows that in 2023, “more than six in ten (61.8%) were Black transgender women,” with 85% of all victims being BIPOC since they began recording data in 2013.
The ARPA funding awarded to IOOV is a part of a $200,000 Troy City Council appropriation for youth and family programming within the city.
For more information on how ARPA funds have been invested in the City of Troy, please visit our website at troynow.org.
This media release mentions suicide and other sensitive content. We can all help prevent suicide. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.
The Troy Now Initiative is the City of Troy’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) initiative to manage, direct and execute projects for the betterment of Troy residents. Troy Now investments will support significant investments in revitalizing the City’s parks and recreational infrastructure, business and workforce development efforts, increasing homeownership, expanding youth programming, fostering tourism and invigorating public art projects. For the latest information and updates on the Troy Now Initiative follow the Troy Now Initiative on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, and visit www.troynow.org.