The Uplift Outreach Center began as the dream of Spartanburg resident and activist, Eric Nolley. He envisioned a safe place for homeless and at risk youth who identified as LGBTQ+ and needed resources. The only place like this existed in Columbia, a hundred miles away.
While involved with PFLAG Spartanburg, he and fellow PFLAG Spartanburg member, Debra Foreman, began laying the ground work for this center. With the support of the local PFLAG chapter and its members, the first annual Rainbow Masquerade Ball fundraising gala was held in May 2019 to benefit the outreach center. The event raised over thirteen thousand dollars and allowed them to launch the Upstate’s very first LGBTQ+ outreach center.