(COLORADO SPRINGS) — On Tuesday, the Colorado Healing Fund (CHF) announced a new joint effort with Community Health Partnership (CHP) to create a dedicated “navigator” role to reach and assist Club Q victims, as well as the formation of its Club Q Advisory Committee.
The Committee is comprised of LGBTQIA+ leaders, victim assistance experts, and community partners, and has already met twice to provide guidance on Club Q response efforts and shape a plan for distributing remaining funds to victims.
According to CHF, the “navigator” role is intended to respond to the unique needs and experiences of the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs. The navigator will continue the work to fill critical gaps in victim support, particularly for those who may face additional trauma in interacting with law enforcement and navigating processes and forms that are not LGBTQIA+-inclusive.
CHF said this individual is a licensed professional counselor who is a trusted member of the LGBTQIA+ community in Colorado Springs. While other groups within the community have begun this important work, the navigator will supplement that work and coordinate directly with CHF to disburse funds to individuals impacted by the Club Q tragedy.
The navigator role was created in collaboration with CHP, which is a local nonprofit that specializes in supporting unique and underserved populations, including the LGBTQIA+ community. Individuals impacted by the Club Q tragedy can seek support from the navigator by emailing CommunitySupport@ppchp.org.
“When the Colorado Healing Fund approached us about this gap in Club Q response efforts, we were eager to partner with them to ensure no one is left behind,” said Rachel Keener, LGBTQIA2+ Health Equity Manager at Community Health Partnership. “The navigator position not only helps meet the immediate needs of the Club Q victims but also lays the groundwork for increasing and improving the quality of care for LGBTQIA+ folks in El Paso County to address the long-term impact of this tragedy.”
In addition to the launch of the navigator role, CHF has also formed the Club Q Advisory Committee to ensure LGBTQIA+ cultural competence in response efforts and engage community partners in addressing intermediate and long-term needs arising from the Club Q tragedy. The committee includes members from CHP, Pikes Peak Pride, InsideOut Youth Services, the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response, and other LGBTQIA+ and emergency response organizations.
“With the outpouring of generosity from individuals, corporations, and foundations, the Colorado Healing Fund was able to activate immediately and provide financial support right away to victims and their families,” said Daniel Ramos, Executive Director of Colorado Democracy Alliance and longtime LGBTQ advocate in Colorado. “We are appreciative of the organization’s laser focus on supporting the victims as our community continues to respond to this tragedy and tragedies to come.”
The Colorado Healing Fund has collected approximately $2.1 million to date, which includes donations made through the Colorado Gives platform as well as contributions made directly to CHF from foundations, corporations, and individuals. More than $450,000 has been distributed to victims through the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance providing financial support to 81 individuals – $188,500 covered immediate expenses and $265,000 distributed as cash disbursements to the five families of those killed and the 33 individuals impacted by the shooting.
Going forward, CHF said Colorado Health Partnership will also serve as a distribution partner for funds to victims.