On Nov. 6, Friendly City Safe Space hosted its open house to the public for the first time. The space is for the LGBTQ+ and aspiring allies’ community of all ages. Daniel Bellerose (he/they), the safe space coordinator and director, was first inspired to bring this vision of the space to life when he was attending one in Staunton. The mission of the safe space in Harrisonburg is to spread knowledge, provide resources and educate on LGBTQ+ identity. It also empowers the LGBTQ+ community to be their full selves in the space.

The safe space is located at the Ice House' in downtown Harrisonburg, and each room has its own purpose. The main area lounge is a welcoming coffee shop with free tea and coffee, a library with books on the wall donated from JMU and a mental health quiet room with a soon-to-be incorporated counselor trained in LGBTQ+ identity development and general issues.

There’s also a blue skies room for a creative space to dream and create in, and a self-expression closet filled with donated clothes to try on and take home. A few of the many community resources provided are STD testing, crisis care, mental health counseling, and different support group sessions.