PEERS Alliance awarded grant from Tegan and Sara Foundation
'That was a big moment for me, to get that notification... that's just huge'
PEERS Alliance in Charlottetown has received $2,100 from the Tegan and Sara Foundation for its work in the LGBTQ community.
"That was a big moment for me, to get that notification that we've been awarded the funds," said Brittany Jakubiec, the executive director at PEERS Alliance.
"I'm a little bit, like, excited that we get to put kinda their stamp on our project. That's just huge."
PEERS Alliance is a charitable non-profit organization. It began as AIDS PEI and slowly evolved to offer programming and outreach for harm reduction for the LGBTQ community.
This year, it is one of 13 organization across Canada to receive a Community Grant from the Tegan and Sara Foundation. Jakubiec said the plan is to use the money to keep the adult drop-in program running until June.
"The adult drop-in is a low-barrier social group dedicated to fostering and growing 2SLGBTQ+ community in P.E.I.," said Jakubiec. (When using that term, Jakubiec means two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and/or questioning, with the plus representing other terms people may prefer to use for themselves.)
"The drop-in program does help with the reduction of social isolation and an increase of feeling like you're connected to the community."
'It's super important'
Jakubiec said additional costs have come up this year due to the pandemic and the extra financial support is not only crucial to running the program but also ensuring it doesn't need to be cut early.
"It's super important that the program is offered."
For Islanders looking for supports, Jakubiec said PEERS Alliance can be reached by phone, email or on social media — contact information is posted on its website.
And for those who do call, Jakubiec said extra precautions are taken — for example, asking if a message can be left on the caller's phone — to make sure people feel safe and supported.
"We really try and just make sure that we're being inclusive and respectful of where people are in their journeys."