In 2006, Hamilton Pride Festival Inc., connected with the local Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton to design and implement the first Needs Assessment of the LGBTQ+ Community in Hamilton. (Needs Assessment of the LGBTQ Community in Hamilton, SPRC, 2007) Encouragement and a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation made the work possible and the SPRC invested further in a follow up executive summary. (Creating Positive Space for the LGBTQ Community in Hamilton, SPRC, 2008)
It has been more than 10 years since then and this report builds on that previous work as well as the five facilitated community conversations held in the winter of 2016 called, “Speak Out!” The results include a set of recommendations, some new and many repeated from the first report, calling for immediate, medium and long-term community attention and action. That set of recommendations was presented at a community report-back event in June 2016. (HamOnt LGBTQ+ Speak Out!)
A committee formed with leadership from the SPRC and seed funding from the
Hamilton Community Foundation with the premise of holding four community meetings
to take the pulse of the community, asking what is going well in Hamilton for LGBTQ+
people and where are the gaps that make it difficult for LGBTQ+ people to live, work,
learn, and play in this city.
The name “Speak Out” was chosen for the initiative and a plan was configured to gather
the best information from the four sessions.