PLATINUM2022

Side by Side

Richmond, VA   |  www.sidebysideva.org

Mission

Side by Side is dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish.

Ruling year info

1991

Co-Executive Director of Operations and Development

Jamie Nolan

Co-Executive Director of Programs & Services

Marquis Mapp

Main address

P.O. Box 5542

Richmond, VA 23220 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth

ROSMY

EIN

54-1572424

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Lesbian/Gay Rights (R26)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth and young adults often struggle with finding support, community, and a safe haven to be their full authentic selves. At school, bullying is rampant with more than 80% of LGBTQ+ youth in Virginia schools subjected to homophobic comments and more than a quarter reporting physical harassment. At home, disownment or disconnection explains why LGBTQ+ youth account for 40% of youth facing homelessness though they comprise only 9% of the youth population. And for LGBTQ+ youth of color, equity —and sometimes even hope— is inconceivable. When young people don’t feel safe in school, they can’t learn. When they don’t have healthy outlets or positive role models, they can be tempted by substances or unhealthy coping strategies. And when they feel ashamed and alone—fundamentally unaccepted for who they are—they can turn to self-harm and tragically, even suicide. LGBTQ+ young people need support. They need Side by Side.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Youth Support Services

Side by Side Richmond and Charlottesville LGBTQ+ support groups meet weekly for middle school and high school youthIn partnership with CIS-Petersburg, we provide an LGBTQ+ support group at Petersburg High School.Side by Side's toll-free youth support line is available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week (888-644-4390)One-on-One meetings with youth and parents who need guidance and support when dealing with sexual orientation and gender identity developmentSpecial events and outings for youth throughout the community including our annual RVA Alternative Prom, Youth Pride Pavilion at VA Pride, and Side by Side Youth Pool PartyLife skills and art programming for LGBTQ+ youthHealth education and developmentSteve Midgett Memorial Library with a large collection of LGBTQ+ books and resources

Population(s) Served

Side by Side Richmond provides one-on-one counseling services to LGBTQ+ youth in our support groups. Youth under 18 must have parents permission and there is no cost for attending sessions. Youth get up to 6 free sessions, and then must write a letter requesting additional sessions.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Young adults
Adolescents
Preteens
At-risk youth

Fee for service training accredited by the National Association of Social Workers available to individuals and organizations including schools, Social Services, Juvenile Court Services and community mental health providers among othersGuest speakers are available for a variety of engagement and topic areasConsulting- working with organizations to increase capacity to serve the LGBTQ+ communityAccess to resources through the Steve Midgett Memorial Library

Population(s) Served
Teachers
Activists
Adolescent parents
LGBTQ people
At-risk youth

For LGBTQ-identified youth, the middle and high school years can be particularly challenging. Side by Side enters school communities to provide support, visibility, positive representation, and offer ongoing support to empower students and educators to be agents of change in their schools. Our outreach trainings and technical assistance to schools and community groups are based on national research and best practices from GLSEN, GSA Network, and Gender Spectrum, and reach as many as 5,000 educators and youth professionals annually. Our Youth Support Coordinator (YSC) program identifies school staff to receive extensive, trauma-informed training and fosters a cohort of allies that continually share information and build up youth support networks. Further, we start or support Gender Sexuality Alliances (GSAs), afterschool clubs that reduce isolation, provide leadership and have been shown to reduce suicide risk not only for LGBTQ+ students, but for all students.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Children and youth

Given the disproportionately high number of LGBTQ+ youth facing homelessness, we play a vital role as the trusted voice and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth, ages 18-25, in housing and homelessness services. As our planned Host Home approach was infeasible in a pandemic, we worked with Virginia Home for Boys and Girls to provide a unique, collaborative solution. And by partnering with Nationz to provide critical Peer Navigators, we are supporting youth along the path to stabilization. We are working with ACTS to provide emergency financial assistance helping youth in crisis to make ends meet or providing stabilizing financial coaching as young people transition into new housing situations. We are also continuing our role on the Grand Challenge Team, benefitting from national expertise designed to improve housing systems in Greater Richmond. Additionally, we provide access to needed supplies at our Youth Center including our clothing closet, hygiene products and household items.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Adolescents
Preteens
LGBTQ people
Young adults
Adolescents
Preteens
LGBTQ people

Where we work

Awards

Affiliations & memberships

Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership 2009

ConnectRichmond 2007

HandsOn Greater Richmond 2008

Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance 2016

Combined Federal Campaign 2013

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg Partnership Agency 2013

Homeward 2016

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of support groups offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

LGBTQ people, People of African descent, Multiracial people, At-risk youth, Adolescents

Related Program

Youth Support Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Youth of Color, LGBTQ+ (ages 14-20), LGBTQ+ Middle School, Transgender

Total number of counseling sessions performed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

LGBTQ people

Related Program

Mental Health Counseling

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Side by Side provides free 1:1 mental health counseling with leading experts in LGBTQ+ youth. We aim to provide counseling to 60 youth, up to 6 sessions (and more as space allows)

Number of clients participating in support groups

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

LGBTQ people, People of African descent, Multiracial people

Related Program

Youth Support Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the pandemic and the shift to virtual programming, we saw approximately 60% participation. We are currently moving toward a hybrid approach to reach more youth.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our overarching goal is to support the needs and healthy development of LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. Countering the high risk for suicide, self-harm, and homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, requires the dual approach of providing access to direct supports for at-risk youth and outreach to change policies and practices that have excluded them. We strive to empower individuals, ensure basic needs like clothing and housing are met, support mental health and identity expression, reduce ostracism and bullying, and hold space for conversations that build stronger, inclusive, and accepting individuals and communities.

Side by Side’s primary goals include:

1. Supporting the healthy development of youth by cultivating a strong sense of self, adult and peer supports and resiliency through healthy coping strategies and meeting basic needs like shelter
2. Widening the number of youth professionals, educators, and youth service providers knowledgeable in supporting LGBTQ+ youth
3. Working to ensure policies that impact youth from school policies to local regulations and even state laws include, support, and affirm LGBTQ+ people.

As we strive to build a better community, we also strive to build a better organization. With equity in the areas of gender and sexuality at the basis of our work, we champion that differences need to be acknowledged, respected and specifically supported. We are working as an organization to carefully review our work through the lens of racial equity and are making changes to directly address the needs of LGBTQ+ youth of color in our communities including diversifying our leadership, expanding our youth of color support group, adding a counselor to specifically work with adolescents of color and piloting bilingual support groups.

Side by Side provides LGBTQ+ youth with safe spaces and scaffolding that makes the difference. Beyond teaching and practicing tactics to deal with the physical and emotional results of ostracization, stigmatization and abuse, we nurture one of the most important pathways to a positive future: hope. Many of the LGBTQ+ youth who attend our groups don’t otherwise interact with other LGBTQ+ peers or out LGBTQ+ adults. They come to us with a picture of their future that is dark and bleak. At Side by Side, we give youth the chance to paint a different picture of and for themselves. Here they are able to create friendships with other LGBTQ+ youth and learn from our staff and adult facilitators who serve as positive adult role models helping them to build a network of support. Our curriculum incorporates LGBTQ+ history, media, and stories that celebrate being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The result is that our youth begin to see who they are and who they will become in a positive light.
We provide affirming and supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ youth to build connections and resiliency as well as leadership and life skills through our key programs including:

• Youth Support Programs for youth 11-20 including weekly support groups, 24-hour youth support line, drop-in hours, as well as leadership opportunities and social events;
• Counseling Services: free mental health counseling for youth in our support groups and housing programs, which provides an extra layer of support for our most at-risk youth,
• Host Home, clothing closet, hygiene products, and other basic needs for LGBTQ+ young adults 18-25;
• Resources for parents and caregivers including parent discussion groups as well as family meetings;
• Outreach and Training to schools including our Youth Support Coordinator (YSC) liaisons, GSA support, consultation for school policy development, and training for teachers, counselors, and principles;
• Advocacy for inclusive policies in schools and supportive and affirming laws for LGBTQ+ people.
By coupling the direct service of support groups and counseling with outreach training, YSCs, GSAs, and advocacy for inclusive policies, we aim to ensure LGBTQ+ youth have the supports they need to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and celebrate who they are.

Founded in 1991, Side by Side (formerly ROSMY) continues to be the only organization in Central Virginia that directly addresses the unique needs and the healthy social development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth. Recognizing the many risks our youth face, Side by Side programs take a trauma-informed, culturally aware approach that recognizes the unique experience of growing up LGBTQ+.

We follow best practices outlined by the National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence prevention including building staff skills, establishing safe spaces, conducting trauma-informed assessments, involving youth and families, and shifting policies to be more affirming. All programming staff are trained in trauma-informed practices including crisis response. We focus on proven techniques including the ASIST model for suicide intervention, safety planning for suicide prevention, and open dialogue about suicide with youth to destigmatize the discussion.

Rooted in The Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents, Side by Side’s youth support groups address both internal and external assets– with particular emphasis on building family support, safety, adult possibility models, positive peer influence, and creative activities – as we promote positive identity development and build resilience to protect youth from high-risk behavior such as substance use, unprotected sex, and cutting. A core – literally lifesaving – element of our curriculum is healthy coping strategies in times of stress and suicide ideation. Through support groups, Side by Side connects LGBTQ+ youth with peers to share their experience and decrease feelings of isolation. Our adult facilitators serve as “possibility models” and mentors for our youth and the Richmond Youth Center offers a safe place where youth can comfortably socialize and build community. For youth needing an extra layer of support we provide free counseling services with a mental health professional who specializes in working with LGBTQ+ youth, critically overcoming obstacles to this support including access to health insurance, inability to pay, and fear of uneducated or even hostile providers.

Our Host Home program approach is considered a best practice for LGBTQ+ youth by the Point Source Youth as it has been shown to be especially effective at reducing isolation and giving LGBTQ+ young people a sense of belonging.

We augment our direct service work with outreach and trainings designed to shift the culture, ultimately making more affirming spaces where our youth can be themselves. Our training focuses on basic terminology and understanding LGBTQ+ identities as well as key risk and protective factors for LGBTQ+ youth. We also consult with schools on the development of inclusive policies based on both our own organizational history and expertise, but also national research and best practices from GLSEN, GSA Network, Gender Spectrum, and more.

Side by Side annually reaches nearly 450 unique youth in support groups, provides mental health counseling to 40 youth, provides homelessness services to over 40 unique young adults, and trains over 5,000 youth service providers including teachers, counselors, and principles in Richmond and surrounding counties. Additionally, in 2019 we began offering Host Home services for LGBTQ+ youth ages 18-25, who are disproportionally impacted by housing instability. We continue to grow to meet the needs of our community and buildup a stronger future filled with affirming possibilities for LGBTQ+ youth.

From our November 2019 surveys:
• 80% of youth felt like they matter, a key indicator of self-worth.
• 75% reported they could identify a supportive adult in their life (including possibility models from our support groups) and 85% could identify a supportive peer in their life (including friendships built at Side by Side)
• 98% were able to identify a healthy coping strategy during times of stress or suicide ideation

Side by Side keeps youth alive by building their resiliency and network of support. And we continue to push for more resources to change school climates including working with elected officials to pass legislation in the General Assembly that would direct the Virginia Department of Education to develop inclusive policies for transgender students in all K-12 schools.

Before the world turned, we had already been moving toward a solidarity rooted in equity. In November 2019, Side by Side publicly shared our Racial Equity Statement and Commitment to Black LGBTQ+ youth (http://www.sidebysideva.org/racial-equity). We have held focus groups and surveys and based on the feedback received, we are taking the following important steps: offering our Youth of Color group weekly instead of twice a month; working with Black leaders and organizations serving primarily Black youth to overcome transportation barriers for LGBTQ+ youth; developing a more equitable board recruitment plan; and working with two outside organizations to evaluate our employee practices.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Side by Side
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Side by Side

Board of directors
as of 03/21/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Natasha Crosby

Nat McKeller Crosby

Clockwork Realty

Lee Dyer

James Madison University

Wirt Confroy

Virginia Tourism Corporation

Ann Zweckbronner

Regina Barnett-Tyler

Virginia State University

Jess Cook

More Light Presbyterians

George Marget

Dominion Energy

Cameron McPherson

Hodges Partnership

Kelly Merrill

Randolph Macon College

Nicole Rossi

Capital One

Trudy Salmon-Akande

Community Volunteer

Amber Vernon

Department of Behavioral Health

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/23/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.