How We Began
Geauga SOGI Support Network (GSSN) was established through collaborative efforts of individuals and agency staff to create supportive programs for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. The founding board, comprised of family members, counselors, and individuals on the SOGI spectrum, began meeting in January 2020. To fully understand the needs in our area, board members spoke with SOGI youth and adults, and with staff in schools, agencies, churches, and civic groups.
We received a resoundingly positive response, and realized that our mission must be broadened to provide support and training for all types of community organizations. To accomplish this, we partnered with regional and national SOGI organizations who have well-developed resources and training curriculums.
In April 2020, GSSN became an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Geauga SOGI does not offer membership, and our support groups and services are free and open to all residents of Geauga County and surrounding areas. Please scroll down for information on how YOU can help us.
What We Provide
Recurring Support Groups:
- Peer Support Groups are held monthly for individuals, families, and friends.
- Youth Support/Social Groups are held monthly and facilitated by professional counselors.
- Topical Discussion Groups are held every other month, guest speakers are welcome.
Special Events and Collaboration:
- We offer community education and awareness events, and family social gatherings.
- We collaborate with schools to assist with professional development and student diversity clubs.
- We network with agencies, businesses, churches, and civic organizations to assist with training.
President: Chris Steigerwald, M.Ed
Vice President: Minna Zelch, M.Ed, Facebook Admin.
Treasurer: Vanessa Jensen, PsyD
Secretary: Natalie Naumann, BSEE, Website Admin.
George Purgert, LISW-S, Governance chair
Marci Samblero, CPT
Natalie Smith, LISW-S
Ed Hamner, Owner – Howling Print & Promo
Geauga SOGI Support Network needs YOU!
Donate via PayPal or send a check to our mailing address (above) made out to “Geauga SOGI Support Network”.
Join our board or a committee – seeking individuals with time and passion. Please email GeaugaSOGI@gmail.com to learn about a variety of opportunities for all interests, skills, and time commitments.
Volunteer for events – help with planning, executing, or just setup or assistance during an event.
Collaborate – Let us know what you or your organization needs, or can provide to others.
Stay informed – educate yourself on issues affecting SOGI individuals.
Join our mailing list – email us to receive updates and future newsletters.
Like our Facebook Page – keep up with news and advocacy information.
Speak Out – great allies seize every opportunity to educate and pass the word to help create awareness. Support efforts at your workplace to create an open and affirming environment.