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Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez recently presented a check for $100,000 to the Fresno EOC LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Funds will be used to hire additional staff, increase outreach efforts, and continue much-needed mental health services for the LGBTQ+ community.

The City of Fresno approved Chavez’s motion to award the Center the one-time funding at a budget meeting in June. During a press conference on October 18, Chavez said he made the request after hearing from a young man who was struggling to come out to his family. He had his friends waiting for him in the car outside, just in case his family decided they would not accept him. “He said the only reason that he decided to come out was because of this Center and the fact that he felt that he had a safety net here in our community.”

Fresno EOC LGBTQ+ Resource Center Manager, Jennifer Cruz, says the funding from the City of Fresno will help keep mental health services in the Center for another year, for clients who don’t have health insurance or are under-insured, which will have a significant impact on the well-being of clients. “The LGBTQ+ community is disproportionally impacted by mental health issues, substance use disorder, etcetera, and they have a very difficult time trying to access mental health services. This, combined with poverty, insurance challenges, and a lack of culturally competent/affirming providers, makes it nearly impossible for our community to find mental health services. Providing easy access in the Center is a vital service for our community, and it is effective since it is already a safe space for our LGBTQ+ community.”

Mental health services that will be provided at the LGBTQ+ Resource Center include:

  1. Individual counseling sessions with a culturally competent LGBTQ+ affirming therapist
  2. Couples counseling
  3. Group therapy with therapist-facilitated formats, like: “Building healthy relationships to self and others”
  4. Substance use disorder screening, assessment, and treatment referrals

The Center is a safe space where people of all ages in the LGBTQ+ community can join peer support groups, get gender affirming guidance, get a housing needs assessment, take advantage of a clothing closet, access sex positive supplies, and get referrals to outside help for legal, immigration, and asylum services. You can check out our request for service form for a complete list of the services provided by the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. The Center is located at 1252 Fulton Street in downtown Fresno.

For more coverage of this story, visit Your Central Valley/KSEE/KGPE or The Business Journal.

About Fresno EOC LGBTQ+ Resource Center

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center became a project of Fresno EOC in 2019. The Center provides support services to enhance the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in the LGBTQ+ community. We serve all individuals in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, queer, and questioning community members in the Fresno County area.

The Center provides medical resources, low-cost or no-cost mental health services, substance use disorder assistance, case management, housing assistance, peer support groups, name and gender change assistance, adult and youth groups, a clothing closet, and more.

Zoom meetings are available for those who need transportation. Plus, there is a drop-in Center where people can hang out during office hours.

The Center hosts free events for the community on a monthly basis, including ArtHop on the first Thursday of the month, as well as game night.

 

For media inquiries, please contact Claudia Solis.

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