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Choosing Our Roots

Human Services

Choosing Our Roots (COR) is a grassroots nonprofit created by and for queer and trans Alaskans, in response to the severe unmet need for safe, affirming shelter faced by young LGBTQ+ people in our state. Our mission is to ensure that all queer Alaskan youth and young adults have access to safe homes, supportive communities, and opportunities to thrive. COR utilizes a community host home model to provide housing options that are suited to participants’ unique needs and designed to build long-term relationships with host families and mentors. COR’s service model includes wraparound case management, mental health support and resilience building, assistance in achieving participant-identified goals, ongoing training for host families, voluntary supports for families of origin, and evidence-based best practices such as trauma-informed care and positive youth development.

COR formed in 2017, launched direct services in early 2019, and has been rapidly expanding to serve youth throughout the state of Alaska. By the time young people come into contact with COR, their sense of safety and trust has already been compromised in many ways, by families and by social support systems that have failed to affirm their identities or to meet their basic needs. COR not only addresses these basic needs for survival and stability through matching youth participants with safe, supportive host homes; it also provides an affirming community with opportunities for mentorship, connection, skill building, leadership development, and relationship-based support. As one young person said, “It isn’t easy to build trust when you’ve been disappointed so many times. I know that when I need COR, you’re there.”COR formed in 2017, launched direct services in early 2019, and has been rapidly expanding to serve youth throughout the state of Alaska. By the time young people come into contact with COR, their sense of safety and trust has already been compromised in many ways, by families and by social support systems that have failed to a^rm their identities or to meet their basic needs. COR not only addresses these basic needs for survival and stability through matching youth participants with safe, supportive host homes; it also provides an a^rming community with opportunities for mentorship, connection, skill building, leadership development, and relationship-based support. As one young person said, “It isn’t easy to build trust when you’ve been disappointed so many times. I know that when I need COR, you’re there.”