Persad LGBT counseling center moving to Lawrenceville, expanding programs | Blogh

Persad LGBT counseling center moving to Lawrenceville, expanding programs

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Rendering of Persad's new location - IMAGE COURTESY OF PERSAD CENTER
  • Image courtesy of Persad Center
  • Rendering of Persad's new location
Persad Center, the second-oldest counseling center in the country that serves the LGBT community, has called Garfield home for roughly three decades. But at noon, on March 23, the organization will open its doors in Lawrenceville, taking over a newly designed 11,500-square-foot space.

The change isn't merely geographic: "The move really represents a plan on the part of our board of directors for significant program expansion," explains Persad Executive Director Betty Hill.

The new Lawrenceville location, at 5301 Butler St., will have a youth center with after-school programs; medical-exam rooms that will help "bridge" medical care and refer people to appropriate providers, expand STD testing and transgender-related healthcare; a senior center with meal programs, legal support, social activities and case management; and a training and technology center that will host everything from guest speakers to in-house training of outside organizations.

The new Lawrenceville location will have:

* a youth center with after-school programs; 

* medical-exam rooms that will help "bridge" medical care and refer people to appropriate providers, as well as expand STD testing and transgender-related health care; and 

* a senior center with meal programs, legal support, social activities and case management; 

* a training and technology center that will host everything from guest speakers to in-house training of outside organizations.

Persad Center's new space in Lawrenceville - PHOTO BY ALEX ZIMMERMAN
  • Photo by Alex Zimmerman
  • Persad Center's new space in Lawrenceville
But Hill wants the new space to serve a larger, community-wide purpose. Since many LGBT organizations don't have dedicated space, there will be rooms where those organizations can hold meetings and work. "We want to be a hub of community activity, which we think will generate lots of different creative relationships and solutions for the community."

If you're interested in checking out the space or learning more about Persad's new programs, drop by its inaugural open house Sat., March 28, from 1-3 p.m.

“It’s a different kind of coming out for us,” Hill says. "While there’s still a lot of privacy in the building, this is a much more visible space for the overall community.” 


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