Chicago LGBT Community Needs Assessment Data to be Presented to the Public

Via press release

CHICAGO – The LGBT Community Fund, an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, is pleased to announce a press briefing and community presentation of the data summary for the Chicago LGBT Community Needs Assessment at Howard Brown Health Center, 4025 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

The press briefing is being held at Howard Brown Health Center in response to the finding that Needs Assessment participants identified healthcare as one of the top LGBT community needs for the Chicago area. Plans are in development for additional data presentations at various locations.

The Steering Committee of The LGBT Community Fund, an identity-focused fund of The Chicago Community Trust, commissioned the needs assessment to obtain information on the needs of Chicagoland’s LGBT community in order to allocate funding in a way that effectively addresses those needs. Morten Group conducted the assessment from October to December of 2011 with the assistance of over 60 community partner organizations and individual leaders.

The morning will begin with a welcome message from Jamal Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer of Howard Brown Heath Center, and will include remarks from a representative of The Chicago Community Trust, a press briefing, a presentation of the data, and a question-and-answer period with Mary Morten of Morten Group and Dr. Keisha Farmer-Moore, Principal Investigator. Jim Alexander, Co-chair of The LGBT Community Fund, shall serve as moderator of the event.

“We are exceedingly pleased with the highly professional and deeply thoughtful work that Mary Morten and Morten Group accomplished in conducting such a comprehensive survey of the needs of Chicagoland’s LGBT community,” said Prue Beidler, Co-chair of The LGBT Community Fund.

“The depth and width of the data collected, along with a stimulating and thought- provoking analysis, provide a firm foundation on which the Steering Committee of The Fund can continue its fundraising and develop an effective set of grant making priorities and procedures.”

The LGBT Community Needs Assessment kicked off on October 7, 2011, with a press breakfast briefing at the Center on Halsted. Data collection ended on December 22, 2011, concluding an 11-week field period. Results were analyzed from January through April of 2012 by Morten Group’s LGBT Community Needs Assessment Project Team.

The project was conducted in two distinct phases. Phase I consisted of a comprehensive online survey that was completed by over 1500 individual community members. The survey was made available in both English and Spanish, and paper copies were provided to those without internet access. In addition, partner organizations placed specially marked community drop boxes in their buildings, where individuals filled out over 300 brief data cards responding to questions about the community’s most critical needs. Data cards were made available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Korean and Vietnamese.

Phase II of the needs assessment consisted of in-depth telephone interviews with over 50 leaders in the LGBT community, as well as 15 different focus groups throughout the Chicago region. Many focus groups were designed for particular demographic groups, such as youth, senior citizens, Spanish speakers, suburban residents and undocumented individuals. The needs assessment sought to cast a broad, inclusive net over the Chicagoland area by incorporating the voices of LGBT community members from diverse neighborhoods, cultural backgrounds, ages, and socioeconomic levels.

The Chicago Community Trust began The LGBT Community Fund in 2010 with a $500,000 matching challenge grant. The Steering Committee of the Fund will oversee a fundraising campaign that plans to raise $1 million over the next three years to match the Trust’s challenge grant. The Steering Committee will distribute the $1 million over the same time period to nonprofits serving Chicagoland’s LGBT community; the Trust’s $500,000 will go towards a permanent endowment benefitting the LGBT community.