Ottawa's Kind Space in need of a helping hand

Ottawa’s Kind Space is a place for the 2SLGBTQ+ community to connect and feel safe—a space created to celebrate and support who you are.

Founded in 1984 as Pink Triangle Services, it became “Kind” in 2015, now focusing on segments of the community that are underrepresented or under-supported.

Executive director Carling Miller says it’s a place they encourage people to come as your whole complex self, offering a wide variety of programs and a space to feel safe. She first got involved at 16 looking for answers of her own.

“People really underestimate the importance of having a place where you don’t feel like you need to pretend, Miller said. “It’s a place where you can come and know people like you. I started coming here when I was 16 and it was a really important space for me.”

The pandemic has impacted fundraising, leaving the organization—which moved into a new and more functional space—short on funds and equipment. Now hoping the community will step up and help ensure this Kind Space can continue offering the services and comfort so many rely on.

Amanda Jetté Knox, an author and LGBTQ advocate, and her wife Zoe just wrapped up a fundraiser for Kind Space, raising over $2,500. They believe Kind Space offers unique and important services to those that have no other place to turn.

“One of the nice things about Kind Space is it is run by the community, for the community and so who knows the needs better?” Jetté Knox said. “My wife and I have a child who came out as trans in 2014 and when that happened we started looking for local resources, and Kind Space was one of the resources that had support groups and mentors.”

Miller says although the pandemic has been difficult for the organization to deal with, it has had a silver lining. Having to go online with many programs has opened up their services to a much broader community outside the city.

It has helped them expand their reach outside their location in downtown Ottawa to more of those in need.