Ogden Encircle LGBTQ Youth Facility Delayed for More Than 2 Years Set to Be Completed in Fall
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Ogden Encircle LGBTQ Youth Facility Delayed for More Than 2 Years Set to Be Completed in Fall

OGDEN — It’s been more than three years since Encircle representatives and their sponsors broke ground on a new center for LGBTQ youth and teens on busy Washington Boulevard in Ogden.

Work has progressed, stopped, started again, and now a representative for the organization — which also has facilities in Provo, Salt Lake City, St. George and Heber City — says the project should be completed in the fall. A groundbreaking ceremony was held March 25, 2021, and for much of the time that work was at a standstill, the structure was covered in scaffolding — which is now gone as the project nears completion.

“We have experienced delays in ordering materials and other components due to the widespread and lingering effects of the pandemic. We are pleased to report that we are back on track and expect to open later this year,” Callie Birdsall-Chambers, Encircle’s vice president of marketing and communications, said in an emailed statement. The exact date will be announced later.

The Ogden site — originally slated for completion in late 2021 or early 2022 — is the first Encircle property built from the ground up, which has also slowed construction. The other sites were renovations of existing homes.

Encircle, which launched in Provo in 2017, offers mentoring and access to a variety of resources for LGBTQ youth, teens and young adults and their families. Encircle homes are also intended to serve as safe, supportive spaces for younger members of the LGBTQ community.

Founder Stephenie Larsen said she was prompted to start the organization after hearing about the “alarming” suicide rate among LGBTQ youth in Provo. In fact, Encircle seems to focus more on the mental health of LGBTQ youth than on political advocacy for the community.

Encircle conducts assessments in communities where it is considering expanding to make sure its services align with local needs, Birdsall-Chambers said. The offerings at the Ogden facility at 2458 Washington Blvd. will parallel those at other locations, with individual and family therapy and support group offerings.

“Detailed information about the offering and its schedule will be provided once the opening date is announced, but friendship circles, therapy, daily programs, community events and office hours will all be available,” Birdscall-Chambers said.