Who We Are

GLOBE The most fabulous place to be on a Wednesday night!

Our Story

Since 1993

In 1993 a couple of local queer youth approached an out gay man who worked in HIV Prevention in Public Health of the Snohomish Health District. They asked for help because they had no place to meet, no one to seek advice from and nothing supportive.

At that time, HIV dollars were being "thrown" at public health in attempts to curb the epidemic. It was widely known that HIV/AIDS was hitting the gay population hard, so the youth group was created as a program for HIV/AIDS Prevention through public health.

The health district supported the program by having two Health Educators facilitate the group – one gay man and one lesbian. It was a 2-hour weekly meeting that was held at the local health district. Each week the facilitators would lead discussions, play games, watch movies, etc. The premise was always about HIV Prevention - including addressing stigma, homophobia, self esteem, healthier life choices around sex, etc. At that time, it was for GLBTQA, ages 14 - 20.

The age limitations of the group were picked because of local and federal laws: in the state of Washington, a 14 year old can access reproductive health services without parental consent. Things like STD testing, HIV testing, contraception, discussions about safer sex, etc. could be handled without breaching any confidentiality. The upper age of 20 was established because of the legal drinking age.

Local GLBT Involvement

That continued with few changes until 1998 when the two paid staff facilitators (for each, GLOBE was just one small part of their 40-hour per week job) decided to involve local glbt people to help. So they created a 100% adult volunteer group called the Assets Team. These adults apply to be members of the Assets Team. They go through a WA State security background check, a reference check and an interview which involves a current GLOBE youth. They alternate coming to the weekly group to assist with facilitation duties. They also help with some of the non-weekly events like the summer picnic, periodic fundraisers and an annual conference in November called Links & Alliances.

Government Dollars Started to Shrink

HIV government dollars started to shrink, plus the political climate changed a little and in October, 2006 we were informed that beginning January, 2007, GLOBE would no longer be a public health program. Since GLOBE wasn't a public health program, we wouldn't be allowed to meet, or store our supplies, in the public health building.

Up to this point, the weekly costs were covered through HIV Prevention dollars: weekly snacks, staff time, supplies, supply storage and meeting space. And because the youth in GLOBE were considered clients of a health district program, they could come into our office and talk one-on-one about stuff. And of course, any of them with risk of HIV transmission got free testing when they needed and free safer sex supplies like condoms, lube and/or dental dams.

By that time, GLOBE had a good reputation because it was "the only" youth group of its kind in Snohomish County, and had been in existence for 14 years. We had the support of the local Drag Court, other youth providers in the county, the local gay bar owner and a local social support group of older gay men. We collectively decided we couldn't let GLOBE die, and the two facilitators both vowed to continue as the leaders on a volunteer basis for as long as we could/were needed.

So our challenge became "how will we pay for all the other stuff?" We had a little money from some fund-raisers and donations, but knew it wouldn't last long.

Financially, we had separated from public health and we needed a "parent" organization to help us out. We approached the local chapter of PFLAG because it was a perfect fit!

Over time, and after a few meeting locations, we found a meeting space in a local open and affirming church in down-town Everett.

GLOBE has become known as a safe place for kids who just don't feel like they fit in. We've been around for over 20 years and have no plans to stop!

Volunteer Assets Team

Vision: Snohomish County GLBTQ youth and their allies are able to live and thrive in a safe, educated, and integrated community that supports healthy development of their emotional, spiritual, physical, sexual, and gender identities.

Mission: To make Snohomish County a safe and nurturing community for GLBTQ youth by enhancing the physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual well-being of youth, providing positive interaction with adult role models, providing community education, and developing resources for and about GLBTQ youth.

The Assets Team is an adult volunteer group based on the Development Assets Model. The Assets Team and the staff serve a critical role in providing adult role models and mentors to GLBTQ youth. For many of the youth, GLOBE is the first opportunity to meet other GLBT individuals and to learn that they are not alone in who they are and how they identify. GLOBE is also frequently the first opportunity that GLBTQ youth have to meet GLBTQ adults and to participate in conversations about how to create healthy relationships and healthy lives with those who can role model such experiences for them. The Assets Team is a group of 12-15 volunteers who have passed background checks, been interviewed and trained. This team offers support during the weekly group meetings, coordinates fund raisers, organizes safe and substance free social events such as Pink Prom, and provides community education on GLBTQ youth. The staff and volunteers create sustainability for GLOBE by creating fundraisers, writing grants and continuing to strengthen the current in-kind support that comes from individuals and organizations throughout Snohomish County and the state of Washington.

The Staff

The staff members who facilitate GLOBE and coordinate the Assets Team volunteers are professionals who have a long history working with GLBTQ youth and specifically with GLOBE.

Brenda Newell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Children's Mental Health Specialist. Brenda has been a facilitator with GLOBE since 1997. She has been serving on diversity committees and providing community education and awareness since 1997.