‘No Sides, Only Love’ Encircle St. George saves lives

TDS Associates Cindy Powell and Wendi Bulkley deliver lunch at the Encircle House in St. George.

Most would agree that all children and young people have the right to be protected and kept safe. LGBTQ+ children and young people face the same risks as all children and young people, but they are at greater risk of attempting suicide than their heterosexual peers.

Encircle offers LGBTQ+ mental health services and other support programs in St. George, Utah and other communities in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho. Their mission is to provide mental health services to the LGBTQ+ community.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, Encircle opened its first home in St. George in 2020, and its third home overall. The St. George Encircle home is located at 190 S. 100 East and named after Kim and Terry Turner, LGBTQ+ advocates and the parents of local philanthropist and businessman Jared Turner, who is one of Encircle’s major donors.

TDS’ Senior Administrator of Field Marketing Cindy Powell volunteers with Encircle and says the experience has been “incredibly fulfilling and meaningful.” Not only has the experience helped her to uphold her core values of equality and kindness, but to also witness firsthand the immense growth and success that Encircle has achieved in providing a safe and supportive space for the LGBTQ+ youth community.

“As a proud mother of a gay son, my personal journey towards understanding and acceptance has been further enriched through my involvement with Encircle,” said Cindy. “The connections I have formed with the incredible individuals within the organization and the youth I have had the privilege to interact with have deeply impacted me, reinforcing the importance of creating inclusive communities that celebrate diversity. Encircle has given me the opportunity to make a difference and contribute to the well-being of young individuals, and I am honored to be part of such a transformative organization.”

Cindy helps coordinate the Rainbow Brunch, sponsored by TDS, held every month at Encircle.

Another event at Encircle is Lunch with Lisa, which brings together parents and allies of LGBTQ+ children for lunch and supportive conversations. Liisa Frei, owner of Dutchman’s Market in Santa Clara, supports the lunch program and is grateful for TDS’ support of Encircle.

“With so many worthy causes, I am grateful that TDS has been so willing to offer its support Encircle,” said Liisa. “Having financial support from local businesses is a vital part of keeping the doors open and the programs running. Thank you, TDS for being involved in such important work for our whole community.”

Liisa became involved with Encircle about a decade ago after her son came out as gay.

“I have seen how much difference it can make in the life of an LGBTQ individual and their entire family, when the parents educate themselves on what this means for their child,” she said. “There is so much fear and misunderstanding in our society around LGBTQ issues and many parents are at a complete loss as to how they can best help their child to live a happy and healthy life. I have witnessed the unimaginable pain of parents who have lost their child to suicide. The data shows a significant decrease in suicide if an individual has even one supportive adult in their life.”

Liisa says she knows the weekly lunches at Encircle St George have given parents, allies and LGBTQ individuals a place to meet and have meaningful discussions. “I truly believe that having the Encircle home in St George is helping to make our community a more inclusive and welcoming place to live for everyone,” she said.

Encircle House
Encircle provide services to youth, as well as families. Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth under 17, and LGBTQ youth are at substantially higher risk to commit suicide. Encircle is focused on the whole family. When a young person comes out, it can be stressful for the parents, too.

Encircle, whose motto is “no sides, only love,” was created with the goal of bringing together families and communities, to enable LGBTQ+ youth to thrive.

Learn more about Encircle St George at Encircle St. George — Encircle | An LGBTQ+ Youth & Family Resource (


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