Big Sibs

Support for LGBTQ+ Youth to navigate resources, services and programming with our youth and family team, all with lived experience. Resources include access and support with gender affirming gear, as well as information and assistance to access referrals to services and programming across Western PA. Our team can connect with youth at our offices or virtually to support service navigation, answer questions and support connectedness to various events and activities.

In addition to our Big Sibs program with our HLWF team, we also partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters to offer formal mentoring programs – Big Siblings. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee please reach out today!



Today is #GivingTuesday – and we’re launching a week of fundraising activities to help us execute our annual #holidayswithhugh series. Your donations during this week of giving will provide much needed support to our LGBTQ+ and HIV community neighbors, and will go directly to providing folks with resources to celebrate the winter holiday season! From Rainbow Holiday Bags, providing fully customizable meals, to our LGBTQ+ youth Angel Tree, to our in-person outdoor Winter Wonderland extravaganza, help us reduce the impact of food insecurity and isolation. We have an ambitious goal of raising $20,000, and will need your help to get there. Our goal is inspired by the increase in need we’ve experienced from our Friendsgiving outreach AND the supply chain issues that are driving up product costs and availability across the board. Can you help us and join in on sharing holiday cheer!

Your gift of $35 provides a Winter Holiday Rainbow Bag

Your gift of $50 sponsors a gift for an LGBTQ+ youth

Your gift of $100 underwrites the cost of one of our Pittsburgh Holiday Cookie tables for Winter Wonderland

Your gift of $250 provides onsite support to a local GSA group

Your gift of $500 helps us expand Hugh’s Kitchen to offer more fresh foods by adding a freezer to our pantry!

We also know that many of our community members are struggling during this time, and it’s not possible to make a monetary contribution. You can still help us by liking our fundraising efforts, sharing with those in your circles who can contribute, or if you can, but volunteering your time to help us make all those deliveries to our neighbors!

Wishing you all joy, comfort and community this holiday season!


Link to donate:

Holiday Rainbow Bags Return!

We’re excited to announce the launch of our 2021 Holiday Season Rainbow Bags!  Returning this year, we’re offering multiple opportunities for LGBTQ+ and HIV community members in need to request all of the ingredients to help make the holiday season special.  LGBTQ+ individuals continue to experience higher rates of food insecurity with more than 1 in 4 adults experiencing need within the past year.  COVID hasn’t made things any easier! 

In 2020, our Holiday Rainbow Bags reached over 1000 LGBTQ+ & HIV community members across Western Pennsylvania.  As we prepare for our second year, we anticipate an increase in demand for our support.  We want to be sure we’ll be able to say “YES” to every request we receive, but our success will rely on the generosity and support of friends like you!  Can you help us make sure we’re able to support all of our community this holiday season?   

In November we’ll offer Friendsgiving meal kits that are fully customizable and accessible to a variety of faith and dietary needs.  In early December we’ll offer Cookie & Hanukkah celebration kits, and finally we’ll close the season with a Winter Holiday Bag where folks get to celebrate the season their way by selecting brunch, appetizers or a dinner themed menu. 

Over the years, we have become known for a variety of services and supports for our Western PA LGBTQ+ & HIV family.  Our Holiday Rainbow Bags are an example of how we have strived to improve the health and well being of members of our communities.  With the help of dozens of volunteers, and people like you, we will be able to deliver food and a bit of holiday cheer to reduce the impact of food insecurity and isolation. 

If you’d like to give back! this holiday season, help us by donating your time or your resources!

If you’d like to request a Holiday Rainbow bag, more information can be found here:

Sarah Rosso

Executive Director

Hugh Lane Launches Legal Services for LGBTQ+ & HIV community members


Contact: Sarah Rosso Phone: (412) 973-5053

Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation Launches LGBTQ+ legal services program to address ongoing COVID needs and inequality.

Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of in-house legal services to address the high priority legal needs of LGBTQ+ and HIV community members in our region.  Services will target those most marginalized through free, need-based civil legal aid services.  

This project is the first nonprofit initiative in the region to specialize in LGBTQ+ legal services, which is essential because LGBTQ+ and HIV community members are more likely to have adverse interactions across legal, housing and business systems. Primary services provided will include eviction defense, utility services restoration, public benefits assistance and civil expungement of criminal records.  Referrals will be accepted beginning in May, 2021

This program is possible thanks to the generous support of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.  

For more information email: or call: (412)-973-5053 


Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to improve the health of LGBTQ+ and HIV communities in western Pennsylvania.

Lawmakers must make comprehensive LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections a priority.

Today, Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation joined a coalition of more than 150 local, state, and national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organizations in calling on Congress to swiftly pass the Equality Act. 

The Equality Act, introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a landmark nondiscrimination and civil rights bill that would update existing federal laws to protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.  It has broad and deep support across lines of political party, demographics, and geography with 83 percent of Americans saying they favor LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

“Throughout the commonwealth, LGBTQ individuals families, friends, business owners and faith leaders have shown their support for the Equality Act,” said Sarah Rosso, Executive Director of Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation.  “This legislation is long overdue and is an important step forward to make sure all Americans have equal protections under the law.  We are committed to mobilizing communities across Western Pennsylvania to make sure our lawmakers know this is about people, not politics”.   

Discrimination is still commonplace for LGBTQ Americans, including here in Western Pennsylvania.  Opponents of LGBTQ equality continue to file discriminatory bills in our commonwealth and across the country in an attempt to undermine existing protections in adoption, marriage and access to basic public services and businesses.  According to a 2020 study, one in three LGBTQ Americans faced discrimination in the previous year, including three in five transgender Americans.  The Equality Act would ensure that all LGBTQ Americans can live, work and access public spaces free from discrimination, no matter what state or county they call home.  

For more information email: or call: (412)-973-5053 


Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to improve the health of LGBTQ+ and HIV communities across western Pennsylvania.

2020: End of year summary

Our 2020 started with excitement, hopefulness and learning together as a team at Creating Change in “Dallas, Tx”. We returned ready to tackle the year starting with increasing support for LGBTQ+ youth and families, and expanding in-person services with our official launch event – Healthy Minds, Healthy Hearts on 3/15/20.  Of course, we know that 2020 had different plans. I am so proud of the work our team accomplished this year.

We leaned in at a time when our LGBTQ+ and HIV communities needed us most. We launched a brand-new food and resource access program to make sure our community members had a safe and affirming way to get what they needed. We worked with the Family Literacy Program to bring LGBTQ+ representation to virtual programming.  Partnered with Sewing Angels to make sure frontline child welfare staff had masks. Joined conversations with national partners to provide programming and to share our expertise. We’re proud of how we’ve been able to push health equity for our LGBTQ+ and HIV communities during this time, and were able to secure a few wins alongside our statewide partners.

We will continue to work each and every day to create spaces and opportunities for LGBTQ+ and HIV community members to be their authentic, courageous selves, assuring healthy minds and healthy hearts. 

From all of us at HLWF, we wish you health and joy in the New Year.

Sarah Rosso  

Giving Tuesday & World AIDS Day – December 1st, 2020

Today starts the annual Giving Tuesday tradition in a year unlike any other. This day also happens to fall on World AIDS day this year. 2020 has been a lot! For many of us, our mental health and our financial health have taken significant hits, and we have had to tap deep into our own resilience to try and navigate this pandemic as best as we can. And while this is true for everyone, this is especialy the case for our LGBTQ+ and HIV community members.

While we are finding ways to navigate this current pandemic let us not forget on this day how our systems did not and often still do not show up for those we have lost and remember today, those living with HIV, and the legacy of a failure to respond to our communities to address a health crisis. We have much work to do to create equitable systems rooted in justice that do not disproportionally impact our communities, especially Queer and Trans People of Color. Let us all commit during this season of giving to work toward removing structural barriers as well as stigma to fight against HIV and support those who are living with HIV. Our organization was founded in memory of “Huey”, who lost his battle with HIV. Today we remember all those we have lost and firmly commit to improving the health of our LGBTQ+ and HIV communities. We will continue to work each and every day to create spaces and opportunities for LGBTQ+ and HIV community members to be their authentic, courageous selves.

I am so proud of the work of our team during this year. We leaned in at a time when many other resources were closing to make sure our LGBTQ+ and HIV communities got what they needed. We quickly adapted all of our services and even launched new programs to address gaps and meet emerging needs. Check out our website and our #GivingTuesday profile to learn more about all the ways we’ve helped this year.

While we know many of you are not able to give as you normally could, we want to encourage those of you who can to please do so today. Your gift goes further today with matches from Facebook, Foundations, and the Hugh Lane Board of Directors.

Help us make sure every person who reaches out for assistance this holiday season is able to get what they need. Whether that’s a winter holiday meal, to build community at one of our events, to recieve PPE kits with blankets and handwarmers, or to help an LGBTQ+ young person or senior recieve a needed gift this season from our virtual giving tree. Every dollar you donate will go directly toward supporting our holiday outreach.

Please consider making a donation today. ANY amount helps!

B.E.S.T.I.E.E Project Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 11th, 2020

Contact: Sarah Rosso Phone: (412) 973-5053
(Pittsburgh)–Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the B.E.S.T.I.E.E. Project. Building Equitable Solutions to Improve Emotional Environments. This new three-year project began October 1st, 2020 to support LGBTQIA+ youth across the commonwealth.
Prior to COVID-19, queer youth were at higher risk than their heterosexual peers for depression, anxiety, suicide, and other serious mental health issues. The closure of schools, forced isolation with unsupportive adults, and lack of access to affirming community resources has only made managing stressors more difficult. It is important that LGBTQIA+ youth know where to find support within the community. 
B.E.S.T.I.E.E. project will provide supportive strategies and solutions to address suicide, substance use, sexual health and overall wellbeing for LGBTQIA+ youth across Western Pennsylvania. We will be collaborating with a variety of local and regional organizations along with our project partners in Erie, Beaver and Washington Counties.    
Today, National Coming Out Day, many LGBTQ+ youth will come out to their friends and family. Inviting folks to celebrate their authenticity and individuality. While some will be accepted others will face rejections. It is important that LGBTQ+ youth know that they are valid despite what others may say. 
“We are dedicated to creating inclusive and accessible mental health support for youth, one that decreases suicidal planning and action through social connectedness and meeting their physical, mental, and sexual health needs. As a community, it is imperative that we work together and help LGBTQ+ youth build a life worth living.”
 Coley Alston, MPH, CPH Program Director at the foundation.
For more information email: or call: (412)-973-5053 
Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ and HIV communities across western Pennsylvania.


Giving Tuesday – 5/5/2020

During this unprecedented time, we have seen an 800% increase in requests and have adapted our services to meet the needs of our LGBTQ and HIV community members. We need your help to continue our COVID-19 emergency response for the remainder of 2020 to assure that all our community members have access to food and can stay connected by maintaining their cell phone service. Check out our #GivingTuesday page with Give Big Pittsburgh. You can also read client testimonials and contribute online through our donate page.

Our COVID Emergency support is available to all of our LGBTQ+ and HIV community members simply by reaching out to us or one of the many organizations collaborating with us during this time. Check out our COVID-19 page for more information on how we’re supporting our community.