Whether you’re homeless and struggling to find food or alone for the holidays, Us Giving Richmond Connections (UGRC) and Diversity Richmond want to make sure you have a place to go for dinner this Thanksgiving.
With Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, Us Giving Richmond Connections (UGRC) is doing something special for the members of the Richmond LGBTQ community who may not have a place to celebrate.
On Thursday, UGRC, a non-profit organization that helps improve the lives of the Black LGBTQ community, will host a free Thanksgiving Community Meal from 12 pm to 3 pm at Diversity Richmond. UGRC, who is responsible for Black Pride RVA, believes that reaching out to other people in difficult times like these is strengthens our community and helps us all get through.
“We recognize this time of year can be hard,” UGRC stated, “and we believe in the power of connection and community to make it through the difficult moments.”
While our society has become more accepting of the LGBTQ community in recent years, familial rejection is still a very real problem for many within the community. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), challenges like social stigma, discrimination, and familial rejection leads LGBTQ people to become homeless at a greater rate than the population as a whole, and to experience a higher risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation compared to non-LGBTQ people.
In a 2019 study by the Prison Policy Initiative, an advocacy group that exposes the “harm of mass criminalization,” LGBTQ youth of color, especially black youth, have a higher risk of being criminalized. All of these are reasons why a strong community is extremely important for LGBTQ people in Richmond, especially those of color.
It is for these exact reasons that UGRC is hosting this community meal. They hope to keep the spirit of the holiday alive for everyone, even those who don’t have a family to spend the day with. As they put it on the facebook event page, no matter what we’re going through right now, “There is much to be thankful for!”
UGRC’s community meal is free, but the group asks that people RVSP in advance so that they can plan the correct amount of food. You can RSVP for the event at Eventbrite. People can also volunteer to help with the event by emailing UGRC at [email protected] Diversity Richmond is located at 1407 Sherwood Ave.