Q Center announces merger with SMYRC

  There have been a lot of changes in the queer community recently.  This week, Q Center and SMYRC  announced that they will join forces. SMYRC is a non-profit Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center that provides counseling and other services for queer youth.

Previously, a  program of Cascadia Behavioral Health Care, SMYRC served between 700-1,000 youths a year. SMYRC’s current location will close down and all programs will continue through the Q Center. According the the Q Center’s website, this merger will strengthen the center’s youth and adult programs while still providing stability for SMYRC affairs. So far feedback has been positive although some have raised concerns.

 “Over the past six months, Q Center’s Board of Directors engaged in a rigorous process to ensure merging the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC) into Q Center was appropriate to our mission, vision and values. After months of due diligence including research and discussions with our community leaders we believe that under Q Center’s leadership and guidance, youth and young adult services delivered through Q Center will be a solid fit and will be enhanced by developing multi-level resources. We are poised to accept the responsibility of ensuring LGBTQ youth and young adults have a positive, empowering environment in which to grow and learn”, stated Jim Taff, who is Chair for the Q- Centers Board of Directors.

“Cascadia enthusiastically supports the merger of SMYRC into Q Center. We believe that the mission and vision of both entities complement one another and will lead to a stronger organization. As a united organization serving the LGBTQ community of all ages, we hope that Q Center and SMYRC will receive the outpouring of well-deserved community support. Cascadia will maintain a partnership with Q Center to ensure that the LGBTQ youth and adults will receive culturally relevant counseling services”, said Cascadia  Behavioral Health.

“I am very thankful for the Q-Center’s interest in supporting our center. Our vision is to honor and support the power of LGBTQ youth to change the world. This vision has inspired me to be a better human being, and it has done the same for many others. I hope that as we transition with the Q-Center, it will do it’s best to support our legacy of LGBTQ youth empowerment. It’s a very important part of our culture at SMYRC ,” quoted SMYRC youth, Giovanni McKenzie on the Q-Center’s website.

Miranda May, a counselor in private practice, will head up the transition in an interim role to help ensure that there will be no interruption of services. May has been working with Q Center’s We Are Here youth & young adult program and is a former SMYRC Intern. The youth center will also be moving from its current space on NE MLK to a new satellite Q Center office located at 2406 NE Sandy Blvd, beginning mid-March. Cascadia will continue to offer its current counseling services.

Although most of the public feedback remains positive, some voiced concerns have included questions of youth involvement in the process, possible further police involvement and other things. Can handle the new load? Can they fully provide services for youth who have no family resources? They’ve added 3 positions and $190,000 to the annual budget but are there any other SMYRC employees left behind?

Another question centers around the location of the youth center itself. This is not the first time SMYRC has moved. In fact it has had several homes in inner Eastside locations. But will Sandy be as accessible to non-driving clientele? Is public transportation better, worse or the same?

As always, we welcome any thoughts, prospective and comments on this merger.

4 comments to Q Center announces merger with SMYRC

  • Hey folks! Just to address the issue of public transportation, in addition to trips to and from city center & NW where folks can transfer to any bus or max, the following frequent service bus lines are available within walking distance of the new Q Center satellite / SMYRC location (some are front door service, even!):

    12 Barbur/Sandy Blvd to Sherwood
    12 Barbur/Sandy Blvd to King City
    12 Barbur/Sandy Blvd to Tigard TC
    12 Sandy Blvd to Gresham TC
    12 Sandy Blvd to Parkrose TC
    19 Woodstock/Glisan to 112th & Mt Scott Blvd
    19 Glisan to Gateway TC
    20 Burnside/Stark to Beaverton TC
    20 Burnside/Stark to Gresham TC
    73 NE 33rd Ave to Rose Quarter TC
    73 NE 33rd Ave to Sunderland
    70 12th Ave to Milwaukie via 13th & Tacoma
    70 12th Ave to Milwaukie via 17th & Tacoma
    70 12th Avenue to Rose Qtr TC
    9 Broadway to 27th & Saratoga
    77 Broadway-Halsey to Troutdale
    77 Broadway/Halsey to Montgomery Park
    8 Jackson Park/NE 15th to Marquam Hill
    8 Jackson Park/NE 15th to Middlefield Rd
    9 Powell/Broadway to 98th Ave via City Center
    9 Powell/Broadway to Gresham TC

    Additionally, you have the Green, Red & Blue MAX lines and #15 & #75 bus lines within one mile of the space for people on bikes or those who feel like walking 0.8 miles.