gezellig: A Safe Space

Who we are

The center is part of the Laced-Up Project, a social enterprise that consists of Laced-Up Boutique, Laced-Up Institute and the social community UUP of which all branches except the boutique run at no profit. The Laced-Up Project puts people before money. The current team working on the community center consists of volunteers & staff of the Laced-Up Project and community members of the above mentioned communities.

We need your help! Click here to go to our crowdfunding page

Our Story

Throughout the last years, our work at the Laced-Up Project has brought us in touch with different communities and showed us that there is a huge need for people that fall outside of what society considers to be “normal” to carve out a space where they feel welcome.

That’s why we’re delighted to share with you that we’re opening the community center ‘gezellig – A Safe Space’ in Utrecht at Korte Jansstraat 8 on February 14th, 2020.

‘gezellig- A Safe Space’ is for everyone that needs a soft place to land. We’re safe, sane & consensual and welcoming sex- & body positivity, LGTBQI+, neurodiverse, disabled & BIPOC* folks. We aim to create a space for people to live their truth and be themselves. Everyone that respects our boundaries is welcome.

By day, gezellig is a community center that’s an inexpensive café and fun hang-out space with board games & magazines. We’ll offer free wi-fi & uplifting educational material. The small earnings from the drinks, snacks & merchandise will help us to pay the rent, staff & other expenses.

Downstairs is a place where events like support groups can be held. For those that offer free events to our communities, the space can be used free of charge. For a small fee, we offer the space to ethical professionals to make use of the space for their own needs.

What we need

For more than a decade the volunteers & staff of The Laced-Up Project have been putting ourselves on the frontline. We are not martyrs, this is truly a labor of love. This is the realization of The Project’s mission & dream for Utrecht.

We’ve used every resource and every bit of money we could earn, beg or borrow to make this happen. We have everything ready to go: completed leases, permits etc. It’s all done!

Now we could really need your help. We are deeply grateful for every bit of support you’re willing & able to share.

We need to work on the accessibility of the building.

We obtained permission to do some major renovations to improve the accessibility of gezellig. It’s an old & neglected building but we hope to install a ramp to have the entrance wheelchair accessible and make the steps to the lower level safer. Our landlord requires that this work is done by a professional contractor under the supervision of an architect/engineer. We need to raise funds in order to be able to do that.

Paying a minimum livable wage to the center’s manager.

To be ethical we must pay the center’s manager a minimum livable wage. Up to this point we have mostly relied on the generous help of volunteers to get this far.

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