Urban Hike

How do I use your service?

Find us at our post at the corner of 4th and Colorado (outside Truluck’s), on Saturday nights between 11pm and 3am. You’re welcome to hang out with us while you wait for your friends or a rideshare, or ask us to walk you to your vehicle, hotel, or some other spot within the central downtown area. We love what we do, so when you ask for a walk, we’ll probably cheer. :D

When and where do the patrols happen?

We’re stationed at 4th Street and Colorado on Saturday nights from 11pm to 3am. Guests come to our post to request a walk to their vehicle, hotel, or other spot within the central downtown area. We hope to expand to other areas and other nights, and we’re also available for some special events with advance notice.

Is this service for LGBTQ people only?

No. Our mission is to prevent hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community, which is why we’re geographically focused where we are, but we assist anyone who requests our safety in numbers.

Why just LGBTQ? What about helping people who are attacked due to race, religion, or housing status?

We agree that fighting hate is a multi-dimensional movement. We support groups that defend and protect all populations who are vulnerable to hate crimes, just as those groups support us. Also like our fellow anti-hate groups, we recognize that, in order to be effective, we must operate within a manageable scope, each concentrating on our dimension of the problem. Together, all of us are combating hate from all angles.

Are all of your volunteers LGBTQ?

Our volunteers span a wide variety of gender and sexual identities, ethnic and religious identities, ages, and socioeconomic levels.

How do I volunteer?

Fill out the volunteer signup form here. We’ll give you a call to learn more about you and chat about the volunteer roles currently available.

If I become a patroller, what do you provide and what should I bring?

We will provide you with a uniform t-shirt and vest, whistle, and rainbow bandanna. Other suggested items to bring:

  • Your cellphone

  • An 800-lumen flashlight

  • Water and light snacks. There are also some yummy spots nearby for snacks or a quick meal on break.

Items not to bring:

  • No pets or children (we cannot ensure their safety)

  • Absolutely no weapons of any kind

What should I wear?

Along with your Rainbow Patrol uniform t-shirt and vest, we also suggest:

  • Comfortable, closed-toe shoes

  • Weather-appropriate clothing, including gloves and ear protection if it’s cold out

  • Loud, fun colors

  • Please do not wear anything politically divisive or disparaging

What else should I be prepared for?

  • Meeting lots of new people, both within Rainbow Patrol and in the community.

  • Staying closely together with your group. On the streets, it is imperative that patrollers are always within eyesight of one another and do not cause or allow themselves to become separated.

  • Having planned, short separations of groups when entering establishments for outreach or restroom breaks. In these situations, if you prefer to stay outside (which is perfectly fine), let your team lead know and at least one other patroller will wait with you.

  • Periods of standing at our post, interspersed with sporadic travelling on foot (no rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, bicycles, etc.). Our pace is generally a slow stroll, but there are times when we need to sprint quickly away from danger. If you're not able to perform these physical functions and want to contribute time, let's talk about admin volunteering opportunities!

  • A new perspective on our beautiful downtown, including art and architectural elements you might never have noticed.

  • Uneven sidewalks, some staircases, and poorly lit areas where you might stumble or where people could be hiding.

  • A combo of friendly chatting and situational awareness. We get to know one another as we patrol, while also watching and listening to the environment around us. Be prepared to stop abruptly and focus when a patroller draws the team’s attention to something.

  • Lots of loving support and gratitude from the community. Unfortunately, you might also hear heckling or slurs.

  • Lost, disoriented, and/or drunk people and (gross-out alert) puddles of bodily fluids on the sidewalks.

  • Exposure to our city's homeless population. They too are vulnerable to predators, and some might be experiencing mental health or drug-related issues.

  • Feedback opportunities! We want you to voice any concerns you have ASAP. Nothing is too minor to mention.