Casting Off

As many know, the ANCHOR Project is wrapping up at the end of September. Our program was funded by a three-year federal grant that was awarded in 2014 and scheduled to conclude in September 2017.

casting off partyTo celebrate our fabulous years together, we’re hosting a ‘Casting Off’ party on Thursday, September 21st from 4-8pm. Participants and their loved ones are invited to join us here at ANCHOR for barbecue, ice cream, drag and other performances, “yearbook” signing, and fun. We’ll also be raffling off art supplies and giving out ANCHOR swag!

We’d like to thank our collaborators, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and CODAC’s Living Out Loud LGBTQIA Health and Wellness Center for their ongoing support and cooperation. Here’s to the many years we have worked together and more to come!

We would also like to thank El Rio Community Health Center for partnering with us to provide primary care and HRT services to our participants. What a generous and amazing service!

And of course, we must thank our incredible ANCHOR participants. You all have made this program what it is. It has been an honor and a privilege to know you, to serve you, and to learn and grow alongside you. Please keep in touch with us via Facebook (The Anchor Project page or Anchor Evaluator/Alumni profile) for updates on future projects and a community data presentation later in the year, where we’ll share lessons learned from ANCHOR.

i-refuse-to-sink.jpgWe began this program with the question, “What is your anchor?” As we wrap up this month, we encourage folks to reflect on the challenges you’ve confronted, the achievements you’ve made, and the ways you’ve progressed and grown during the life of this program. And to ask yourself again, “What is my anchor?”






It’s #40toNoneDay! 40% of homeless youth are #LGBT. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring ALL youth have a home.

It’s a statistic that may shock you: Approximately 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), yet LGBT young people make up less than 7% of the general youth population. The discrepancy is impossible to ignore.

Today, April 26, 2017, the ANCHOR Project will be joining people across the country – including local service providers, national advocacy organizations, elected officials, celebrities, LGBT youth, and community members – for the third annual #40toNoneDay.

40tonone#40toNoneDay is a national day focused on raising awareness about LGBT youth homelessness. While identity-based family rejection is the most commonly cited reason, there are many factors that contribute to LGBT youth homelessness. Our goal is to ultimately reduce the disproportionate percentage from 40% to none. And, in order to do that, we need to be united.

Last year, #40toNoneDay reached an estimated 98.5 million people online. How many will we reach this year? And, most importantly, will you be a part of it? Stop by ANCHOR today during Empower Hours from 2-4 to take your “unselfie” photo and help spread the word!

Get involved at

Holiday Closure

xmas_breakHappy Holidays!!

The ANCHOR Project will be closed for the next two weeks and will re-open Tuesday, January 11th. We understand that this closure may feel disruptive to folks who are accustomed to visiting ANCHOR throughout your week. In light of this, we wanted to let you know of other community happenings and resources that you may want to explore.

See the full printable calendar here! More details about any of these events can be found with a quick Google search.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday. Please take care of yourselves and each other!

Love and hugs,

The ANCHOR Project


The ANCHOR Project is going to Creating Change 2017!


Would you like to join us?

creating-change-2016-2Participants in the ANCHOR Project are invited to apply for an exciting opportunity to be part of this groundbreaking conference. One selected applicant will receive an award which includes airfare and transportation, lodging, conference fees, and meals. The 2017 conference will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, January 19-22, 2017. We plan to travel to Philadelphia on Thursday, January 19th and return to Tucson on Sunday, January 22nd.

Please take some time to learn about the upcoming conference by exploring the Creating Change website. Please complete and submit your application by Tuesday, November 22nd at 11:59pm. 

What is Creating Change? (from

laverne-coxThe National LGBTQ Task Force sponsors and organizes the Creating Change Conference. 2017 marks the 29th gathering of this unique national conference, the pre-eminent political, leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBTQ social justice movement. Since 1988, Creating Change has created the opportunity for thousands of committed people to develop and hone their skills, celebrate victories, build community, and to be inspired by visionaries of our LGBTQ movement and allied movements for justice and equality.
The primary goal of the Creating Change Conference is to build our movement’s power from the ground up to secure our overarching goal of full equality, social justice and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in the United States.

Creating Change 2017 Details

  • Conference dates: Thursday, January 19 through Sunday, January 22, 2017.
  • Location: Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA
  • Selected applicants will be expected to attend at least one meeting prior to travel to plan and review logistics.
  • The deadline to submit your application is TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND AT 11:59PM.
  • Although not necessary, we recommend typing your responses in a separate document and copy/pasting into the application form. We also recommend completing the entire application in one sitting in order to avoid losing your work.   

Click here to start your application


Meet the ANCHOR Project’s new Program Coordinator!

corrieMeet the ANCHOR Project’s new Program Coordinator, Corrie Brinley! Corrie’s role on the ANCHOR team is to ensure that all aspects of the ANCHOR Project—like workshops, care management, employment and educational support, evaluation, and housing support—are in alignment with the project’s goals.

Corrie is no stranger to the ANCHOR Project! Before joining the ANCHOR team, Corrie has been working on a number of public health projects as an Assistant Social Research Scientist with the University of Arizona’s Southwest Institute for Research on Women (UA-SIROW). She first joined the SIROW team in 2005 as a Health Educator on the Mujer Sana ~Healthy Woman project. It was during that time that she engaged in direct-service provider work in addressing the health needs and access to health care among women living in low-resource communities, experiencing homelessness. Additionally, Corrie was involved with iTEAM, one of the projects that ANCHOR grew out of. She says, “I am very excited to be back doing direct service work, and to get this opportunity to work with ANCHOR and the LGBTQ community.”

Corrie is passionate about addressing the social inequalities and other forms of systemic violence directly impacting LGBTQ communities in Tucson as it relates to lack of direct-service provision. Her experiences working on collaborative LGBTQ community based-projects as a community member, activist and researcher have all shaped her understanding of the urgency in using community-based participatory research methods to document the community’s lived experiences in policy work. Corrie who received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work says, “The hope is there, the potential to dream and the freedom to write.” Corrie’s vision of public health and policy work as catalysts for effecting change reflects her ultimate goal of continuing to challenge current healthcare and housing standards that discriminate against LGBTQ-identified youth and young adults.

As Program Coordinator, Corrie is particularly excited to work with ANCHOR’s very own Housing Consultant, John Roldán, on continuing to ensure that youth are getting into safe housing and advocating for trans and gender non-conforming peoples’ right to shelter. Additionally, Corrie’s experience with community coordination has provided her with a specific understanding of the resources available to the community. She plans to bring her knowledge to ANCHOR as she notes, “Resources are constantly evolving and so are issues of accessibility.” As Program Coordinator she is dedicated to the community-based and trauma-informed models of care that the ANCHOR Project has become synonymous with for many in the community.

Fun Fact with Corrie: “I am a little thrift obsessed. I would say 75% of what is in my house is from thrift stores.”

A Harmonious September Ahead!

4719995-music-treeThrough September‘s monthly theme, In Harmony: Finding Common Ground through Celebrations and Challenges, we’ll be acknowledging the many benefits of music. In addition to learning about the link between music and emotions, there will also be an opportunity to create music through a songwriting workshop and karaoke!

Due to high demand, we’re also excited to be hosting a Financial Management workshop this month. Additionally, our Recovery Coach Paul will now be leading his G.A.M.E.S.S. group twice a month, in rotation with BUOY. See all the details below!

New Happenings:

  • Financial Management workshop (9/14) – Does managing money feel like a constant battle? Is it a struggle to make ends meet? Savings?! What savings? Money continuously comes up during groups here at ANCHOR. In response, we pulled together a workshop to address this topic in detail. In addition to general information about finances, we’ll also be sharing strategies and tips for wise spending and saving.
  •  G.A.M.E.S.S. (Gaming Affecting Members’ Employment and Social Skills) is a group to discuss how strategies and tools used in games can be applied to your goals in other areas of life. G.A.M.E.S.S. will now alternate with BUOY every other Thursday from 12-2pm.
  • Participants can now access our Google calendar. Feel free to link it to your own calendar so you always know what’s happening at ANCHOR!

Participant-led Activities:

music 3

  • Dr. Sebi’s Alkaline Diet (9/6) – A participant will be sharing personal experiences with Dr. Sebi’s alkaline diet, a diet that has been said to cleanse the body of toxins and cure diseases.
  • Music & Emotions (9/13) – A discussion about the links between music and emotions!
  • Let’s Move (9/20) – Learn and experience the soothing benefits of tai chi through an activity and video.
  • “Cweepies” Karaoke (9/22)- Sing it out with some karaoke on the patio!
  • Loop Station Songwriting (9/27) – Experience the bonding and healing potential of creating music through this participant-led songwriting activity.
  • The Meaning Behind Colors (/29) – Learn how colors affect our moods and emotions.


Recurring Monthly Events:

  • How to be an Ally 101 (9/7) – Staff-led workshop reviewing LGBTQ+ identities and terminology as well as tips for being a strong ally.
  • Catch-All Party! (9/21) – Cake and cupcakes to celebrate birthdays, HRT anniversaries, new jobs, and anything else worth celebrating this month!
  • Third Thursday Threads clothing swap (9/15)- We received a donation of adorable dresses and shoes. Come check them out!

September 2016 Calendar


August 2016: Reexamine, Refocus, Renew

change-on-the-horizonAugust is here and our monthly theme is Reexamine, Refocus, Renew! This theme is relevant in several ways for us here at ANCHOR. First, we said goodbye to our beloved Program Coordinator, Ian, last month. Next, we’re getting ready to wrap up the second year of our program. And finally, we have more participants visiting the ANCHOR house than ever before! With these transitions and changes upon us, now is a great time to check in and reflect on the year behind us and the year ahead.

  • On Tuesday 8/2, we’ll be introducing a month-long brainstorm of expectations for the ANCHOR house.
  • On Thursday 8/4,  we’ll engage in a participant-led discussion about Who We Are as a program – what ANCHOR means to all of us, staff and participants alike, the goals of the program, and how to continue making this the safe, affirming, and goal-oriented project it’s intended to be.
  • On Tuesday 8/30, we’ll review the space expectations brainstorm and reach consensus about those we want to adhere to.
  • And on Wednesday 8/31 and Thursday 9/1, we’ll put it in writing with a participant-led group art project!

That’s just a small taste of this month at ANCHOR. Check out the August 2016 Calendar for other happenings!

August 2016 calendar

July Calendar: Discovering Strength Inside & Out

******July is here and we have some exciting news!******

ANCHOR will now be open at 12pm on Wednesdays! That’s right, no more weird Wednesday schedule. We’ll be open 12-4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Groups begin at 12pm each day and Empower Hours are still from 2-4pm each day. We hope this change will reduce confusion…Plus it gives us an extra hour each week with y’all!

The theme for July 2016 is Discovering Strength Inside & Out. The idea behind the theme is that strength can be found internally within each individual as well as within one’s community. We have several participant-led discussions and activities lined up that correspond with this theme and will help folks get to know each other!

  • 7/5 – Building Trust discussion
  • 7/7 – Meditative Flow Movement activity
  • 7/13 – Jewelry Making activity
  • 7/14 – Activist Speed Dating  
  • 7/19 – Affirmations: Mental Magic discussion 
  • 7/21 – Healthy Communication discussion 
  • 7/26 – Highlighting Community Resources discussion
  • 7/28 – Sources of Strength Shield activity 

We’re also introducing two new recurring monthly events!

  • 7/6 – How to be an Ally 101 
    • This workshop will provide basic information about identities within the LGBTQ community as well as a discussion around what it means to be an ally.
  • 7/20 – Catch-All Party!
    • The perfect excuse for cake! This is a time to celebrate anything worth celebrating this month, whether it’s a birthday, graduation, new job, new relationship, HRT anniversaries, and more!

July 2016 calendar

Haven and Heart: The Importance of a Safe Space

In a society that discriminates against, rejects, and marginalizes LGBTQ folks, especially queer and trans people of color, safe spaces are a necessary haven. In a city often hostile to LGBTQ folks, Pulse Nightclub was a sanctuary for many. Early Sunday morning, that sacred space was violated in the most appalling of ways. Amid hatred and ignorance, this tragedy only reinforces the importance of and need for safe spaces.

heart houseFor many LGBTQ folks here in Tucson, the ANCHOR House serves as their safe space. In addition to offering services like housing, employment, and educational assistance, support groups, and recovery coaching, the ANCHOR House itself is a huge aspect of the program. It’s a place where participants can come and be themselves, spend time with other LGBTQ folks and allies, and be affirmed in their identities.

How we make ANCHOR safe:

  • Inside and outside, ANCHOR looks like a house! With a fireplace, couch, real plates and utensils, a self-serve fridge, and walls adorned with affirming art created by local queer artists, the ANCHOR House is meant to feel like home. This also means we ask folks to treat it like home: do your dishes, clean up after yourself, and take pride in the space. It’s yours as much as it is ours.
  • We acknowledge and honor chosen names and your correct pronouns. We do this via nametags or simply asking how folks like to be identified.
  • We establish and enforce Group Agreements. Although we emphasize the agreements at the beginning of groups, they apply to the space at all times. Be respectful; maintain confidentiality; take care of yourself; don’t yuck someone’s yum; assume best intentions; keep an open mind; express yourself; think, speak, repeat; the right to opt out. Adhering to these understandings, among others, upholds an environment of respect and safety.
  • We have staff who genuinely care and will listen. We might not have all the answers or be able to give advice, but we can certainly offer an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and arms to hug.

rainbow heart

During this difficult time, the ANCHOR House will continue to be a safe haven, a space where folks can lean on each other for support, and where we can work toward healing together.