FUEL: Inward. Upward. Outward.

Tiffany Escada, Mother of the Chicago ball community's House of Escada

FUEL is a University of Chicago outreach program for African-American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTQI) people. FUEL works to create spaces where participants go INWARD by encouraging and building self-love, UPWARD in their spiritual growth, and OUTWARD in helping to transform the community.  We do this work by offering weekly support groups, sexual health services, doing health outreach in our community, and through a monthly “17 and over” social event, ”FUEL First Fridays” for LGBTQ youth on Chicago’s South Side.

Participants can be fueled INWARD by participating in confidential weekly groups that provide helpful information, great conversation, and needed support. We have a group for women above the age of 16, as well as two groups for men who have sex with men (one for men aged 16-24 and another for men 25+ in age).

Participants can be fueled UPWARD by participating in a private weekly group that will help members apply Christian faith to their life’s challenges. This weekly group will help folks address challenges like family drama, dating issues, stress, and health challenges. This group will provide a safe space for members to be assured that God loves them and learn how that love can change their very lives.

Participants can be fueled OUTWARD by participating in monthly planning meetings, trainings, and demonstrations. Action matters. And our community-organizing and justice work is aimed at empowering members of the Southside community to help improve the Southside community. Together, we’ll address issues ranging from a lack of housing for those that are poor, as well as issues facing the public school system.

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The Expanded HIV Testing Initiative

The Expanded HIV Testing and Linkage to Care Program (xTLC) institutes routine testing programs in disproportionately affected populations in Chicago. We collaborate with community-based organizations and hospitals to ensure that HIV testing and subsequent linkage to care becomes a standard and unstigmatized part of health care.