Letters: LGBTQ youth deserve support, and here are some resources for it | ParkRecord.com

Letters: LGBTQ youth deserve support, and here are some resources for it

Resources available for LGBTQ youth

Editor:
I’m so glad you chose to write an article about Morgan Pinkney and Sam Sullivan, two individuals who are not afraid to publicly embrace their gender identities and be who they are.

As a volunteer with Encircle, an LGBTQ+ family resource center with locations in Salt Lake City and Provo, as well as a volunteer with The Trevor Project, I know how important it is for our youth and young adults to be able to express who they are and get appropriate support.

Every gender and sexual identity is valid, real and a beautiful part of who that person is. And you don’t need to understand someone’s identity to love, support, accept and treat them with the respect they deserve.

If any LGBTQ+ youth are looking for a place to hang out with people who get them, the Pride Center in Salt Lake is a wonderful place to do that. Additionally, check out Encircle. Their slogan is No Sides, Only Love. Their programming offers free therapy, art programs, Friendship Circles, support for parents and more. For more information, go to encircletogether.org.

And if anyone needs immediate support because they are in crisis or just want someone to talk to who understands what they’re going through, please contact The Trevor Project, a suicide and crisis hotline for LGBTQ+ teens and young adults. They are available 24/7 through TrevorText (text START to 678-678), TrevorChat or call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386. You can also go to their website at TheTrevorProject.org for resources on different identities or to join TrevorSpace, a social networking group for LGBTQ+ individuals ages 14-24.

Karen Hammerman
Park City

An essential ingredient

Editor:
There are many ingredients that make up a complete community, but none are more essential than its people.

For at least a generation, Park City has grappled with a growing housing crisis. In 2015, the community elevated housing to a critical priority, with an ambitious goal of 800 new units by 2026. Our intent is that new housing opportunities will reinforce our sense of community and strengthen our neighborhoods.

Building new housing takes time, money, and commitment. Despite a collective desire for action, there is always a fear of community housing and its impacts. The city has excellent examples of balancing new housing with quality of life: Snow Creek Cottages, The Retreat at the Park, and the Central Park Condominiums (aka Lobster Lofts). These projects are not only important to their neighborhoods, but were built within existing city codes. We are currently in the process of planning for and building new housing along lower Park and Woodside avenues. These developments also comply with current zoning and have been designed for neighborhood compatibility.

We have heard neighborhood concerns about code exceptions and special allowances for our newest housing development. While we appreciate the feelings of uncertainty that accompany development, these assertions are inaccurate. The city is following zoning requirements, just as we require of any private developer. Technical concerns will continue to be addressed in a transparent process, but we question that code is the real issue. It is of the utmost importance that we share our good fortune and welcome new neighbors. Preserving Park City’s character and idyllic, natural setting is a collective effort, and we must work equally as hard to maintain the sense of community we all treasure.

Please join us for a community housing open house on Monday, May 20, 6-7 p.m. at the Park City Library (3rd floor). City staff will share information about the Woodside housing development and answer questions. For additional details, please visit engageparkcity.org/woodside-phase-ii, attend the next Planning Commission on Wednesday, May 21, or email us directly at housing@parkcity.org.

Anne Laurent
Park City Municipal community development director