Corp Comm Connects

AIDS Committee of York Region boosting services, rebranding image

Rainbow Space expanding to Stouffville, Georgina, King over next 3 years
July 26, 2019
Lisa Queen

The AIDS Committee of York Region is rebranding itself and expanding its services.

The first change took effect on July 22.

The My House Rainbow Meeting Spaces program is now called Rainbow Space.

In the fall, the agency will launch a new overall name and visual brand and will include the new tag line “people supporting people.”

Rainbow Space will continue to offer safe, social and recreational spaces to help improve the health and wellness of LGBTQ+ residents in York Region.

Rainbow Space currently offers programs in Richmond Hill, Aurora, Markham and Vaughan in partnership with Community and Home Assistance to Seniors (CHATS), Canadian Mental Health Association -- York Region Branch, Vaughan Community Health Centre, Vaughan’s recreation department, 360 Kids, and Pflag York Region.

Over the next three years, Rainbow Space programs will expand to include King, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury and Georgina.

The new name conveys an unconstrained environment that can change to meet the needs of participants.

“Rainbow Space was selected from a variety of naming options after a series of consultations with key stakeholders,” executive director Vibhuti Mehra said in a statement.

“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.”

The original My House program was set up in 2011 by community leader Haran Vijayanthan as the only peer-led social and recreational drop-in space of its kind in York Region for LGBTQ+ residents and their allies.

Programs were mostly delivered along the Yonge Street corridor from Richmond Hill to Newmarket.

In April 2018, the committee began inclusion programs for LGBTQ+ seniors through a partnership with CHATS with funding from United Way Greater Toronto.

Last October, the Trillium Foundation gave the committee a $705,6000 grant to grow social programs for LGBTQ+ youth.

The committee, established in 1993 with a mission of creating safe, confidential and inclusive spaces and services, offers a number of programs for people living with HIV/AIDS, people affected or at risk of HIV and hepatitis C, people who use drugs, people who identify as LGBTQ+ and people supporting vulnerable and marginalized residents.

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