Rainbow Spaces 

ACYR Announces “Rainbow Space” Program for York Region’s 2SLGBTQ+ Community Members

Rainbow Space is the new name of agency’s My House program following a rebranding process

RICHMOND HILL, ON: AIDS Committee of York Region (ACYR) has undertaken a rebranding process that will see a change in the overall agency’s name and visual brand to be implemented in Fall 2019. As part of this rebranding, ACYR’s My House Rainbow Meeting Spaces program will be known as “Rainbow Space” effective Monday, July 22, 2019.

“Rainbow Space was selected from a variety of naming options after a series of consultations with key stakeholders. This new name equalizes the program within the agency’s new master branding and overall services where the philosophies of anti-oppression, harm reduction and inclusivity continue to be the guiding principles,” said Executive Director Vibhuti Mehra.

The new name and visual is felt to be most representative of the program and the agency’s new tag line of “people supporting people”.

The use of “space” in the name reflects both a physical and psychological unconstrained and malleable environment that can be adjusted as needed to accommodate the program’s participants. Rainbow Space will continue to offer safe, social and recreational spaces to help improve health and wellness outcomes for 2SLGBTQ+ community members in York Region.

My House was established in 2011 by 2SLGBTQ+ community leader Haran Vijayanthan as the only peer-led social and recreational space of its kind in York Region that 2SLGBTQ+ community members and their allies can access on a drop-in basis. Since inception, My House programs were largely delivered along the Yonge Street corridor of York Region (from Richmond Hill to Newmarket). In April 2018, ACYR initiated social inclusion programs for 2SLGBTQ+ seniors in York Region through a partnership with Community & Home Assistance to Seniors (CHATS) with funding support from United Way Greater Toronto. In October 2018, ACYR was awarded a $705,600 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to grow social programs for 2SLGBTQ+ youth across York Region.

ACYR’s Rainbow Space programs are currently being offered in Richmond Hill, Aurora, Markham and Vaughan in partnership with CHATS, Canadian Mental Health Association – York Region Branch (CMHA-YR), Vaughan Community Health Centre (VCHC), City of Vaughan’s Recreation Services Department, 360°kids, and Pflag York Region. Over the next three years, Rainbow Space programs will be expanded to include King, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury and Georgina.

ACYR was founded in 1993 and formally incorporated as a registered charitable organization in 1996. ACYR’s mission is to create safe, confidential, and inclusive spaces and services in York Region where people can access dignified support and meaningfully engage in self-determined pathways to well-being. We envision an informed, healthy, stigma-free and compassionate community.

ACYR offers specialized and combined programs for:

  • People living with HIV/AIDS (newly diagnosed to long-term survivors)
  • People affected by or at risk of HIV and Hep C
  • People who use drugs
  • People who identify as 2SLGBTQ+
  • People supporting vulnerable and marginalized community members

To learn more, visit: http://www.acyr.org/rainbowspace/

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