The Attic Youth Center is Philadelphia's only agency exclusively serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Founded in 1993 as a support group for LGBTQ youth that met in the “attic” of a Philadelphia social service organization, The Attic has grown into a comprehensive, multi-service youth agency, whose first goal was to reduce the isolation felt by LGBTQ youth by providing a sense of safety and community.
The Attic uses a multifaceted approach to counteract the prejudice and oppression faced by LGBTQ youth through building community, reducing isolation, combating homophobia, promoting knowledge, providing access to resources, and developing leaders. Youth participate in The Attic’s Life Skills Center, which includes workforce development programs, youth-leadership programs and educational forums. The Attic also provides an extensive range of specialized services for LGBTQ youth including: mental health programming, support groups, case management, and HIV prevention. Additionally, throughout The Attic’s history, a strong commitment to advocating for the needs of LGBTQ youth has been maintained through education and training. The Bryson Institute of The Attic provides training in best practices in meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth in schools, social service agencies, faith communities, and neighborhoods.
Each year, The Attic offers vital services to over 1,000 youth through its various programs and reaches an additional 7,000 individuals though its education and training program.