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Encircle Heber celebrates first anniversary with Pride carnival

 Encircle’s new house in Heber City is located in the heart of downtown, at 81 E Center Street. It was originally built in 1892 by Abram Hatch. As a member of the Utah territorial legislature, Hatch introduced the legislation granting women the right to vote in Utah. Sgro expressed pride in the fact Encircle now occupies the home he built. 

“We love Abram,” Encircle Executive Director Jordan Sgro told KPCW. “We think Abram was ahead of his time.” 

According to Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson, Hatch built the home with red sandstone quarried nearby. He then built the Wasatch Stake Tabernacle — now used to house Heber City’s administrative offices — with the stones that were left over.
Rob Winder
/
KPCW
Encircle’s new house in Heber City is located in the heart of downtown, at 81 E Center Street.

Encircle’s home in Heber will welcome the community for a celebration Friday to mark one year in Wasatch County.

Encircle opened its doors in downtown Heber a year ago this month. Friday, it’s putting on its second Pride carnival.

Director Elise Villaroman said everyone is welcome.

“There’s not many Pride celebrations in Wasatch County, so we’re super excited to provide that for the community here in Heber,” she said.

Encircle is a nonprofit that serves LGBTQ youth, young adults and families with mental health services and social support. It was founded to respond to the high suicide rate among LGBTQ youth, and now there are four Encircle homes around Utah.

Villaroman said the organization’s mission is to provide a safe environment for visitors to be themselves.

“We know that there is a large LGBTQ community here in Heber, and they just really didn’t have a space,” she said. “These youth and young adults and families come to the home and just know that this space is for them.”

She said young people can attend friendship circles, family dinners, art and music nights and rainbow brunches at the home. Events are designed to foster community, both for LGBTQ people and those who want to better support them.

“We want to be able to be that neutral, safe space for everyone,” she said. “So families who have a child who, maybe, is LGBTQ, who might not know how to navigate that – they can come to Encircle and ask questions, talk with other people who have been through what they’re going through, which is a really special and unique thing that we’re able to provide.”

Villaroman said everyone is invited to tour the home and learn more about Encircle’s services. She says the group is looking for volunteers to get involved.

Friday's family-friendly carnival will include pizza from Midway’s Pizza Yard, ice cream from Roonie’s in Heber, balloon art, games and raffles. Everything is free.

Encircle Heber at 81 East Center Street will host festivities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

More information about resources the home offers to LGBTQ young people and their supporters is available on Encircle’s website.

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