Zebra Coalition
Contact Us: 407.228.1446
Mission + Impact

Mission + Impact

Mission + Impact

Our Mission

The mission of Zebra Coalition is empowering LGBTQ+ youth to thrive.
LGBTQ+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) and all other (+)

Zebra Coalition advances its mission by providing high quality, culturally appropriate programs designed to meet the unique needs of homeless and at-risk LGBTQ+ youth, as we have also strived to meet the community’s needs for affordable youth housing, mental health services, proactive youth support and community education. The goal of programming is to provide each youth the tools necessary to become a healthy, productive, and self-sufficient individual. The Coalition is especially sensitive to the needs of Black, Hispanic and Latinx LGBTQ+ youth. Each program and goal is designed and ultimately implemented with a clear vision of how outcomes will validate planned activities to support and inspire LGBTQ and all youth.

Our Impact

Housing and Support Services

Zebra Coalition has been providing housing and support services for homeless LGBTQ+ youth for over 12 years. During this time, over 400 youth have been sheltered through our bridge housing and rapid rehousing programs. In 2021, 50 youth were provided housing. We currently have 11 beds in our housing program, where youth reside for an average of 6 months.

Funding

Funding for Zebra Coalition includes the Zebra Coalition Board of Directors, City of Orlando, Orange County, Office of Violence Against Women, Disney, Universal Orlando and several other generous partners.

Local Awards & Recognition

  • Orlando Weekly’s Best Local Activist Group ( Winner 2022 & 2021)  (2nd place 2016)
  • Watermark WAVE Awards, Most Effective Local Nonprofit Organization – 2nd Place (2022 & 2021) Winner (2015, 2014, 2012)
  • Metropolitan Business Association’s Pride in Business Awards — “Nonprofit of the Year” (2019)
  • Watermark WAVE Awards, Favorite Virtual Fundraising Event – 2nd Place (2021)
  • Orlando Life Magazine — “Simply the Best” (2020)
  • Service and Leadership Award by Equality Florida (2016).

Youth Drop-In Center

Located within walking distance of Downtown Orlando, the Drop-In Center on Mills Avenue is a known refuge for Central Florida’s homeless LGBTQ+ youth. In 2021, youth visited the Drop-In Center 603 times where they accessed critical needs such as taking a shower, eating a meal, speaking to their therapist, getting help finding a job and even doing their laundry.

LGBTQ+ Training & Outreach

Zebra Coalition provides several trainings and speaking engagement opportunities to the community. Some of the topics include Gender & Orientation Workshops, LGBTQ Youth Clinical Support, Considerations and Best Practices Sexual Assault in the LGBTQ Community and Zebra Coalition 101. In 2021, we provided 28 training sessions for over 300 individuals.

National Awards & Recognition:

  • Zebra Coalition has received national-level funding and partnership with the White House and the Office of National Drug Control Policy & the Office of Violence Against Women
  • American Counseling Association’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) recognized Zebra Coalition at their Annual Conference for its work with LGBTQ+ youth
  • Zebra Coalition was the recipient of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation’s top tier award ($100,000) in 2016 and continues to receive funding (2021)
  • Zebra Coalition has been awarded numerous grants from the Walt Disney World Corporation and Universal Orlando Foundation

Mental Health Counseling Services

Zebra Coalition’s Mental Health Counseling Program provides trauma informed, age and developmentally appropriate therapy and is designed for the unique experiences and needs of the homeless or at-risk LGBTQ+ youth who turn to us for help and support. In 2021, 130 youth accessed our mental health counseling services and our therapists provided 1,891 therapy sessions.

Our Core Values

We value youth
and their unique voices,
dignity, and resiliency.
We believe
feeling safe is essential to well-being.
We advocate for social change
to advance justice, inclusion, diversity, and equity.
We have the courage to innovate and collaborate.
We are
transparent
in our work.

Our Strategic Goals

Expand long-term housing
Strengthen current programming
Increase staff engagement
Incorporate justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) practices in pursuit of Zebra’s mission
Strengthen internal infrastructure
Support board members to meet expectations
Refocus the coalition model to achieve the Big Bold Goal of ending LGBTQ+ homelessness in Florida

18% of the nation’s homeless youth are located in Florida.

Awards + Recognition

Local Awards & Recognition:

  • Orlando Weekly’s Best Local Activist Group (2021)
  • Watermark WAVE Awards, Most Effective Local Nonprofit Organization – 2nd Place (2021)
  • Metropolitan Business Association’s Pride in Business Awards — “Nonprofit of the Year”
  • Watermark WAVE Awards, Favorite Virtual Fundraising Event – 2nd Place (2021)
  • Orlando Life Magazine — “Simply the Best”
  • Recognized as one of Orlando’s most effective nonprofits by Watermark Magazine (2012 & 2013)
  • Second place WAVE Award for “Best Local Non-Profit” (2014 & 2015)
  • Second place Orlando Weekly’s “Best Local Activist Group” (2016)
  • Service and Leadership Award by Equality Florida (2016).

National Awards & Recognition:

  • Zebra Coalition has received national-level funding and partnership with the White House and the Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • American Counseling Association awarded $1,500 by the ACA from the Human Concerns Fund (2015)
  • American Counseling Association’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) recognized Zebra Coalition at the 2015 Conference for its work with LGBTQ+ youth
  • Zebra Coalition was the recipient of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation’s top tier award ($100,000) in 2016
  • Zebra Coalition was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Walt Disney World Corporation (2016)

Let’s be friends