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HUGS EAST

Our Mission

To afford the Gay and Lesbian community of Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties with a support network and to act as an extended family.

This will be accomplished by providing:

bulletIndividual support/crisis resource referrals.
bulletActive involvement in a gay and lesbian socio-political issues including enhancing understanding and mutual respect between the public and the gay/lesbian communities through the formation of a Task Force.
bulletGay / Lesbian community resource referrals.
bulletInvolvement in AIDS awareness/safer sex educational programs through the Lake County AIDS Task Force, HIT, etc. and by supplying "buddies" for PWA's.
bulletSocial functions especially around the holidays.
bulletStaffing an informational "hotline" from two private residences.
bulletOperating a drop-in center for referrals from community agencies, teaching responsible sexual behavior, affording a safe place for self exploration and to meet social and affiliation needs through the establishment of a Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual only meeting place a minimum of one day per week.

History and Philosophy

HUGS EAST is a group of gay/lesbian/bisexual people, both singles and couples, who, although diverse in terms of age, background, employment, and specific interests, share a common desire to: 

bullet

Create a "family" oriented support system through which we can  positively affirm, support, and feel more connected with ourselves and each other.

 

bulletEither individually or as a group move to actively change the way "straight" society relates to us.

At regular meetings, we create activities to share and expand our understanding of our lifestyle and our friendships.  Through mutual sharing, caring, listening, talking, and feeling, we believe our group can develop a strong sense of family-community and can reach out as a positive, supportive influence into the larger gay and non-gay communities.  To us, HUGS means Hope, Understanding, Giving, and Support.

The concept of HUGS, developed by local gay/lesbian/bisexual people as a support network and extended family, had its origins at the Case Western Reserve State-wide Conference for Gay and Lesbians in the spring of 1984.. Following this conference, 25-30 people met to develop a group in which equal leadership responsibilities were given to all members, who took turns developing and presenting programs of mutual interest.  Although group membership climbed to about 60 active participants, interest by Cleveland members waned and members from Lake Country assumed full responsibility in 1986, when the organization became known as HUGS EAST.

Since that time, HUGS EAST has seen an increase in participation and enjoyed a growing diversity.  We welcome your involvement and input on how we can continue to better reach and serve the gay/lesbian/bisexual community and invite you to join us for fun and enlightenment!

Telephone
440-974-8909
Postal address
P.O. Box 253, Mentor, OH 44061-0253 
Thursday meeting address (7 P.M. - 9 P.M.)
8521 East Ave., Mentor, OH  44060

 
Send mail to hugseast@hotmail.com with questions or comments.
Last modified:  September 08, 2002