Hagerstown Hopes exists to serve and support the LGBTQ community. After spending our summer attending Pride festivals throughout the state, meeting and listening to members of the community, and getting a sense of what is wanted and needed in the community, we’ve been hard at work preparing for our next year. Over the past year we’ve worked to build the foundation of Hagerstown Hopes and the programs and services we offer to the community. This is an exciting time for us, and we hope you’ll join us in our work to strengthen and support the local LGBTQ community!
The foundation of Hagerstown Hopes is community outreach and our mission is to meet the needs of the community. Our community center, the Hagerstown Hopes Hub, is home to free and confidential HIV testing provided by the health department. In fact, the Washington County Health Department has a team devoted to the needs of the LGBTQ community. HIV testing can be scheduled anonymously through our website and the Hub also has health resources and education for our community. Please visit, know your status, and learn about local resources that can benefit you!
Our Trans Meetup group is still meeting regularly. We’re excited to have opportunities to expand our outreach and resources for the trans and non-binary community. As the group grows, the wants and needs begin to change, and we’re excited to find ways of responding to feedback. Please stay posted for new developments, or contact us for more information about our Trans Meetup group!
We’re also happy that everything is ready for our youth group. Working with minors requires attention to a million details, along with a fair amount of red tape. All the proper paperwork has been approved and we’re conducting background checks for board members before the group will meet at the Hub. In the meantime, the group will meet in public locations that will only be made available to group members, aged 14 to 19. Youth Group will meet the first Saturday of the month. Follow us on Facebook or visit us at HagerstownHopesMD.org for more information!
Hagerstown Hopes is also dedicated to bettering the community we call home. On Monday, August 26th, we partnered with New Light Metropolitan Community Church and Beacon House to support the homeless community. We joined New Light’s outreach work to provide resources as part of our CARE (Community Action to Revitalize and Empower) Initiative. The Washington County Health Department, Slow Down Barber Lounge, Tailor Made Cuts, The Nook, and a number of donors supplied free haircuts, health resources, clothing, food, and toiletries. We applaud New Light MCC for their work and for opening their doors to everyone in the community to provide a resting place for those in need.
You can expect more from us in the coming weeks. Our goal is to respond to the needs of the community and we’ve been listening. There will be different and more diverse activities, and our outreach work is gaining speed and momentum. Board members Asher Kennedy and myself will be continuing our outreach and education work at Shepherd University as part of the Social Justice Project. We will be educating about advocacy, activism, and current issues affecting the LGBTQ community and are developing programs for the upcoming academic year.
There are always opportunities to volunteer for one of our many committees if you would like to be part of creating positive changes in the community. We hope to hear from you soon!
- Brian George Hose has been an advocate for LGBTQ persons and issues all his adult life. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Shepherd University and looks forward to pursuing a Master's of Social Work with a focus in mental health. A former musician, Brian served as minister of music for New Light MCC for several years and incorporates music into social work practice. He lives in rural Western Maryland where he has amassed a sinful number of books, yarn, and books about yarn. He has been writing for Baltimore Out Loud since February 2016.