Columbus, Indiana

About the Safe Initiative in Columbus


To create a safe and welcoming environment for the LGBT community.


To establish a SAFE community initiative by partnering with community organizations in Columbus, Indiana, to enable the self-designation of LGBT-friendly organizations

The Secure and Friendly Environment Initiative, known as "SAFE," is designed to build understanding and comfort in this community. We live in a society where prejudices still exist; where discrimination, both legal and illegal, is still far too common; and where even the physical safety of someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can be at risk.

SAFE seeks to change this. It creates a mechanism that enables all organizations - whether they be restaurants, retailers, places of worship, landlords, nonprofits, schools or healthcare providers - to visibly self-identify themselves as open and welcoming to all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Columbus, Indiana, is sincere about being a welcoming place to everyone. So much so that in 2004, the Heritage Fund, our county’s community foundation, launched the Welcoming Community Project.

After seven years of community initiatives designed to cultivate a more inclusive environment, the Heritage Fund commissioned a follow-up to its initial benchmarking study. While the 2011 study showed significant improvements for most demographic groups, the LGBT community continued to be among the lowest in terms of feeling safe, secure and integrated into the local community.

In order to address these concerns and improve the welcoming factor of Columbus for its LGBT citizens, various business and community organizations have come together to create the SAFE Initiative. The absence of protections for the LGBT community at the federal, state, and local level makes community initiatives such as the SAFE Initiative all the more important and urgent. Your participation in the SAFE initiative will be an important step toward creating a community in which all people are treated with respect and in which they feel SAFE.