TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- A new group is introducing itself to the community. The Pride Center of Terre Haute is now here to help the LGBTQIA Plus community. Their main focus is on education and inclusion.
Members of the Pride Center came together and wanted to bring this to Terre Haute because they felt Terre Haute can become more inclusive. They took studies from The Human Rights Campaign who conducts research every year that focuses on how inclusive each major city is.
The closer you are to the number 100 on the scale, the more inclusive your city is. Terre Haute's rank for 2019 was 42/100.
The Pride Center wants to change that number, and make it higher.
Their goal is to be a safe haven. They want to be able to include all people and be there especially for those who are LGBTQIA Plus. The pride center of Terre Haute is in its beginning stages of developing this program.
The Executive Director of the Pride Center, Melissa McCollister, said she's excited to bring this resource to our community. She said, "So we're hoping that we, you know, are able to provide not only a support center but an advocacy center."
The Pride Center of Terre Haute is focused on being a beacon of light to the pride community.
Director of Development Martina Hall said, "I think it's imperative that people know that there is a place where they will be loved and accepted and that it's a safe space for all members of our community."
They want people to know they are here to be a space for you to live freely and without judgment. Youth Director of the Pride Center of Terre Haute, Claire Craigmyle, said she's excited about giving back to the community.
She said, "We care about people of color, I'm autistic so I'm excited to get to advocate for LGBTQ Plus people who might also be on the spectrum or neurodivergent. Like we're all a diverse group of people coming together and supporting each other."
The first way this group wants to show support is by taking a needs assessment for its first year.
They're doing this to make sure what they're offering...Is the best thing for the Wabash valley.
"We're going to listen to what the community is saying. And I think that's a vital part of what we're doing, is that to be introspective with our community and work together with the community to decide what services are best for our community."
Now the pride center of Terre Haute doesn't have a website just yet, but they do have a Facebook page. You can click here to access it.