LGBT Center for Youths Opens in Woodside

At the opening ceremony, Ikea Williams performed pieces from her poetry book “Chrysalis: Not Quite The Butterfly” on being a homeless LGBT youth in Jamaica, Queens. (Photo via LIC/Astoria Journal)

The AIDS Center of Queens County (ACQC) opened its LGBT Youth Drop-In Center in Woodside on May 18 to provide resources for at-risk youth, reports Jennifer Khedaroo for Long Island City/Astoria Journal. She speaks to ACQC Executive Director Rosemary Lopez.

“There were no services back then and you would get ostracized by your family, but now we really want to see kids succeed,” Lopez said. “The world is different now. We’re getting more progressive, but you still see homeless kids because we all don’t have supportive families.”

The center in Woodside will assist local homeless LGBT and at-risk youth by providing meals and hot showers, arranging spaces for napping, assisting in laundry, and helping to look for permanent housing.

The center staff will also help young people go back to high school or college, as well as find work programs and provide job-search services.

With the Mental Health Providers of Western Queens also located at the site, 62-07 Woodside Ave., and ACQC’s affiliation with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the center will also offer services in these crucial areas.

Go to Long Island City/Astoria Journal to find out what makes the staff “so special” and what the center being geared toward LGBT youth means for Ikea Williams, a spoken word artist who performed at the opening ceremony.

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