University News

Adler Center Receives $25,000 from 
 Chicago Community Trust LGBT Fund to 
 Expand ChicagoLGBTServices.Org 09.08.15
Adler Center Receives $25,000 from
Chicago Community Trust LGBT Fund to
Expand ChicagoLGBTServices.Org

Adler University and its LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center have been awarded a $25,000 grant from the LGBT Community Fund of The Chicago Community Trust to expand the Chicagoland LGBTQ Service Directory at, the only comprehensive, searchable website of social service and support resources for LGBTQ people in the Chicago region.

The grant will enable Adler to expand the directory’s reach into Chicago’s west and south suburbs, improve mapping accuracy, and create a mobile app that will provide immediate, accurate referral services for LGBTQ individuals wherever they are in the region.

In addition, a new review function will allow users to rate service providers on their LGBTQ inclusionary practices—providing a check on the quality of services provided on the directory.

Launched in March 2014, the ever-growing directory lists more than 250 services specific to LGBTQ people, from basic needs such as employment and shelter to social activities, medical and mental health care, and legal support.

'Critically needed' updates to provide immediate help

“With this new funding through the LBGT Community Fund, we are able to make critically needed upgrades to the directory that will directly benefit individuals as well as entities such as local police districts, public and private schools, and those who work directly in the community with LGBTQ people," said Kevin Osten-Garner, Psy.D., Director of Adler's LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center.

“For example, we can now develop a free app that will provide users as well as agencies and service providers with instant mobile access. Police officers in patrol interactions with LGBTQ community members will be able to use the app and provide immediate referral to LGBTQ-competent services.

"Case managers, insurance referral specialists, hospitals, community health centers, schools, HIV outreach workers, and many others can provide immediate help to LGBTQ youth, seniors, and everyone in between wherever they are. Such immediate, comprehensive access currently isn’t possible.”

Regional gaps in LGBTQ-compentent services identified

Over the last 16 months since the directory’s launch, Osten-Garner said, analyzing traffic to the directory has enabled him and his team to identify gaps in LGBTQ-competent services within the Chicago region—information valuable to government, agencies, and funders with stakes in improving access, capacity, health outcomes, and community wellness for the LGBTQ community.

For example, healthcare services account for nearly 40% of the directory’s listings—but most services are concentrated on Chicago’s North Side. Thus, “we actively seek to expand the list of LGBTQ-dedicated services in the western and southern Chicago and Cook County,” Osten-Garner said.

In addition, he says, “resources for the homeless are the top-searched services in our directory, but we’ve identified only nine such LGBTQ-dedicated resources in the Chicago region. We’ve also discovered that there are very few LGBTQ-inclusive funeral services, GED, and career-service resources.”

In addition to serving as director of Adler’s LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center, Osten-Garner is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in work with LGBTQ issues, several mental illnesses and chemical/behavioral addictions. He also serves as Adler’s Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Division of Community Engagement and Training.

About the LBGT Community Fund of The Chicago Community Trust

Through an operating grant from The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and a special grant from The Chicago Community Trust, the LGBT Community Fund serves to educate the region about LGBT issues and promote effective philanthropy to achieve strategic change. The LGBT Community Fund envisions a region where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents live responsibly in harmony with all communities, enjoying the same freedoms and quality of life, and with the same opportunity to make the region a better and safer place for all to live.

About the Adler University LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center

The Adler University LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center serves as a leader in educating and training culturally-competent clinicians in social justice and service delivery for sexual-orientation and gender-variant minorities. Through education, community engagement and research, the Center works to advance the wellness and quality of life for sexual orientation and gender variant minorities on individual and systemic levels.

About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, it enrolls more than 1,400 students in master’s and doctoral programs for social change through its campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver, as well as an Online Campus. Adler University’s mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.