February 1, 2023 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Los Angeles LGBT Center Opens New Facility In South Los Angeles

Los Angeles LGBT Center has opened a new facility in South Los Angeles to serve the health needs of LGBT Black and Latino communities.

On October 13th the Los Angeles LGBT Center opened the doors of Center South, a 5,500-square-foot community space located at 2313 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. near Leimert Park, which signifies the first-ever expansion of the world’s largest LGBT organization into South Los Angeles and champions its long-term commitment to care for LGBT people living throughout the city.

The grand opening community celebration included remarks by Center CEO Lorri L. Jean, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health – Division of HIV and STD Programs Director Mario J. Pérez, and Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests toured the facility and reveled in the daylong festivity which included food, refreshments, giveaways, a resource fair, and entertainment.

“We’re thrilled to be opening Center South, and we’re proud to be doing so with wonderful partners: Bienestar Human Services, Black AIDS Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and The Wall Las Memorias Project. Together, we will serve a wider array of folks here than we are now doing separately,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “Most importantly, among our areas of focus will be the people who are most vulnerable for new HIV infections: young gay and bisexual Black and Latino men and transgender women of color. We intend for Center South to be an especially welcoming place for them.”

Funded in part by the County Department of Public Health, Center South addresses the societal and health needs of LGBT people of color living in South Los Angeles by providing comprehensive programs and services, such as HIV testing; access to PrEP and PEP services; housing case management; mental health services; and a drop-in safe space which can also be used to host community events. A CyberCenter computer lab comprised of a new printer and eight new Lenovo desktop computers loaded with Office 2016 and Windows 10 software was generously funded by the David Bohnett Foundation.

“L.A. County’s Department of Public Health, Division of HIV and STD Programs (DHSP) has set out to support new and innovative programming to address multiple sociocultural, environmental, and economic challenges faced by young African American and Latino men who have sex with men,” said DHSP Director Mario J. Pérez. “On behalf of the residents of L.A. County, we are proud and pleased to support and welcome the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s new site in Leimert Park to realize this vision. It is our hope and commitment that the Center’s new programming will further advance efforts to stem the tide of HIV and STDs and help eliminate stubbornly persistent health inequalities.”

All of Center South’s programs and services will be provided to everyone for free or at low cost with a focus on serving the needs of young gay and bisexual men of color ages 12 to 29. According to the 2017 Los Angeles County Annual HIV Surveillance Report, South Los Angeles had the second highest rate of HIV diagnoses in the county. The rate continues to rise among young Black and Latino gay and bisexual men, and the rate among Black cisgender women are slowly increasing.

“Leimert Park has a thriving community of LGBTQ people of color, and I would like to welcome the Los Angeles LGBT Center to South Los Angeles as they continue their 50-year-plus history of life-changing and life-saving work,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “The Center has provided safe spaces across L.A. for decades, and young Black and Latinx gay and bi (cis)men and women need that kind of support here in their neighborhood.”

The four partnering organizations aforementioned—Bienestar Human Services, Black AIDS Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and The Wall Las Memorias Project—will provide auxiliary programs and services to Center South clients, such as linkage to care for HIV testing, PrEP, and PEP; trainings on community organizing and social justice; and workshops to develop creative, impactful projects that educate communities about HIV. Additionally, local young gay and bisexual Black and Latino men are encouraged to join any of the social networking groups held at Center South, among them: Lit Life (which teaches sexual health and wellness), Positive Images (for those living with HIV), U/O Project (for those ages 16–29); and Continuum Project (which provides peer support to those between the ages of 18 and 65 who are at-risk for HIV).

“Today is the realization of a dream of many years, but this is just the beginning,” said Jean. “By working with our partner organizations and local community leaders, I have no doubt that, together, we will ensure that Center South becomes a vibrant, vital, and beloved part of our South Los Angeles community.”

Center South’s hours of operations are Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. In addition to Center South, the Los Angeles LGBT Center owns and/or manages nine other facilities throughout Los Angeles, among them: the flagship Anita May Rosenstein Campus; the McDonald/Wright Building; The Village at Ed Gould Plaza; Triangle Square; Center WeHo; and the partnership facilities of Mi Centro and the Trans Wellness Center.

Related Posts

Congressman Robert Garcia Sworn Into Office With Superman by Side

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

By Susan Payne This month, Robert Garcia was sworn into Congress with superman by his side.  Garcia, a self-described comic...

GLAAD announces 34th Annual GLAAD Media Award Nominations

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

By Susan Payne GLAAD, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer media advocacy organization announced the nominees for the 34th...

Los Angeles LGBT Center and April Housing Celebrate Historic Ownership Transfer of Triangle Square Affordable Housing for LGTBQ Seniors

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

Fifteen years after the opening of Hollywood’s Triangle Square Apartments, the nation’s largest LGBTQ-affirming affordable housing complex for seniors, the...

Jurors Unable to Reach Verdict in Fatal Crash Trial

January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023

By Susan Payne A 33-year-old transgender woman was convicted on Jan. 9 for a hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury...

San Francisco Launches Guaranteed Income for Transgender People Program

January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023

By Susan Payne San Francisco has launched a pilot program that guarantees income for transgender residents.  The Guaranteed Income for...

AIDS/LifeCycle Announces New Santa Monica Beachside Finish Line

January 19, 2023

January 19, 2023

545-mile bike ride to finish in Santa Monica June 10 AIDS/LifeCycle, the seven-day, 545-mile bike ride fundraiser traversing the golden...

California Protects Out-of-State Parents, Youth Seeking Gender-Affirming Care

January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

By Susan Payne  Over 20 states have aimed to limit youth LGBTQ+ gender-affirming health care in 2022, but California is...

LGBTQ+ Side Quest Written in God of War Ragnarok

January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

By Susan Payne Sony Santa Monica has hidden a tragic LGBTQ_ side quest in its God of War Ragnarok game,...

Senior LGBT Retirement Development in Palm Springs to Open in 2023

January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

By Susan Payne  For LGBTQ folks looking for a supportive community in Palm Springs, Living Out is now accepting reservations...

Man With Gun Spotted Inside West Hollywood, Spurring Fear

December 26, 2022

December 26, 2022

By Susan Payne Weeks after a deadly mass shooting in a Colorado LGBTQ+ club, a man in a West Hollywood...

Gay Actor’s Affection for Date ‘Unwelcome’ at LA Restaurant

December 26, 2022

December 26, 2022

By Susan Payne  Support is being poured for a gay actor who was on a date at a Mexican restaurant...

OR Bar WeHo Now Open in West Hollywood

December 26, 2022

December 26, 2022

By Susan Payne West Hollywood welcomed a new gay bar in the city this month. OR Bar WeHo, located at...

LA County Hate Crimes Reach Highest Level in 20 Years

December 19, 2022

December 19, 2022

Results from  Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations show hates crimes are are among the highest seen since 2002...

Third Former Major League Baseball Players Comes out as Gay

December 19, 2022

December 19, 2022

By Susan Payne This December, love is taking the place of the shame for former major league baseball player T.J....

Former Transgender City Employee Violently Arrested in West Hollywood

December 19, 2022

December 19, 2022

By Susan Payne The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in West Hollywood violently arrested a disabled transgender woman inside of...