The LGBTQ Advisory Council held its first town hall meeting Wednesday night to encourage dialogue between community members and representatives of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
About 30 people attended the meeting Downtown, during which community members said they would like the human services agency to be more responsive to the needs of the gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Among the topics discussed was the need for mandatory anti-discrimination training within the department, and increased awareness of the needs of homeless and mentally ill LGBTQ youth.
Human services representatives mentioned their various programs, including the Office of Behavioral Health and the Office of Children, Youth and Families. The staff said they looked forward to working with community members to improve their services.
"The county's LGBTQ community wants to be heard," said Megan Good, a human services department analyst who works with the 15-member Advisory Council. "We want the council to gather information from community members about what it should do better. At the same time, we want the community to know what services we do have to offer."
She said the council hopes to hold more town hall meetings in the coming months. The council's members include a mix of community members and service providers.