An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition announces it is disbanding

In this file photo, Pride flags welcome visitors to The Loop, the Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition’s community hub on East Chestnut Street in Lancaster. (Source: OUL file)

The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition is shutting down, its board announced Tuesday.

In a post on Instagram, the organization said the decision “was not made lightly,” but that a mix of rapid turnover, leadership challenges and “overwhelming operating costs” necessitated the step.

In a previous post in mid-May, the coalition had acknowledged it was struggling. In the wake of the resignation of Executive Director K Foley, the board took on management of daily operations.

“We are aware that the reputation of the Coalition has not been entirely positive lately,” the post read. It pledged to rebuild trust and said an online survey would be forthcoming to gauge how the nonprofit should move forward.

On Wednesday, spokesperson Shannon Mize told LNP that the “working board” structure was not sustainable, and that the coalition did not see a path to securing enough funding to continue its work.

The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition was founded in 2019 and opened its community hub, The Loop, in 2022. It offered a range of classes, support groups, healthcare and mental health services and a clothing bank. Future plans included expsansion of those services and creation of transitional housing.

K Foley cuts a ribbon to open The Loop on Sunday, June 5, 2022. (Photo: Olivia Smucker)

At a separate location, the coalition operated the HEART (Homeless Emergency Assistance & Response Team) House, offering transitional housing for up to five people.

Funding came from a range of individuals and foundations. United Way of Lancaster County provided support through its Level Up & Launch grant program in 2023-24.

Mize told LNP the coalition will be working its way in coming weeks through the legal steps involved in winding down the organization, and referring clients to other service providers.

In its statement on Instagram, the group said, “(W)e are committed to working with the community over the next few months to ensure that successful programs can continue independently of the coalition.”

In a joint statement (PDF), four organizations — Lancaster Pride, Lititz Chooses Love, Rivertown Pride Center, and Trans Minors Rights — assured the LGBTQ+ community that they “are committed to working together to ensure your needs are met during this difficult time.”

“(O)ur pledge is to fulfill the promise that the Coalition made and can no longer fulfill,” they said, directing people to a Lancaster LGBTQ Collaborative web page for links to their respective organizations and their services.