Program Leader Shares How Belonging Brant is ‘Essential’ to Building a Vibrant, Inclusive Community

By Deron Hamel

Ali Carson first became connected with Belonging Brant when she was looking for a drop-in program for 2SLGBTQ+ families — but at first, she couldn’t find what she was looking for.

So, realizing there was a need for a drop-in program for 2SLGBTQ+ families, Belonging Brant helped Ali launch one.

“Belonging Brant helped me at every step of the way to launch a queer families’ drop-in program,” Ali says. “They led and guided me in filling a need that was evident in the community.”

Ali, who is also a parent, is new to Brant County and she says Belonging Brant has been a valuable resource in helping her create connections and feel a part of the community.

“A well-funded and resourced Belonging Brant will open even more doors and allow more needs to be met.”

Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Belonging Brant is dedicated to creating connections and building relationships across Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations to help people contribute to their community in a meaningful way.

The project, which creates and encourages citizen-led initiatives, is particularly focused on creating opportunities for human connection and decreasing the isolation faced by so many in the community.

Given the difference she has seen Belonging Brant make first-hand in helping create a safe and inclusive community, Ali says she hopes the initiative continues to thrive in the future.

However, she says continued funding will be paramount to ensuring Belonging Brant is viable in the long term.

“The security of funding would help (Belonging Brant) offer vibrant programs, securely knowing that the foundation of those efforts will be meaningful and lasting,” Ali says.

“A well-funded and resourced Belonging Brant will open even more doors and allow more needs to be met.”

Ali says the groups, conversations and education Belonging Brant facilitates are crucial to ensuring a safe and diverse communities across Brant County.

“It is essential to making Brant a great place to live and raise a family,” she says of Belonging Brant.

“My experience here, moving from the GTA, would not be as positive without Belonging Brant.”

Learn more about the 2SLGBTQ+ drop-in program, Rainbow Roots, here.


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What If Belonging Brant Became a Lasting Community Beacon?

Belonging Brant is already a light in our community. It is the place to be. With three years under our belt and our initial funding coming to an end this October, we have the opportunity to fashion our future anew. We’d love to hear what you’ve loved about Belonging Brant, what you’d like for it to become, and what you might like to do to make that dream come true. Consider taking a few minutes to share your answers to these questions.


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