The Los Angeles LGBT Center opened its doors to a brand new 5,500-square-foot-space in South Los Angeles last week. The new facility, Center South, is perfectly situated to serve the needs of local Black and Latinx LGBTQ folks.
The opening of Center South marks the first-ever expansion of the world’s largest LGBT organization into South L.A. Its programs and services are available to everyone for free or at a low cost. This includes HIV testing, PrEP and PEP services, housing case management, mental health services, a computer lab, and a drop-in safe space to host events.
The facility currently focuses on providing services to young gay and bisexual men of color, as well as trans women of color. These two populations are the most vulnerable to new HIV infections. South L.A. has the second-highest rate of HIV diagnoses in the county, according to a 2017 report.
Center South is located at 2313 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, near Leimert Park.
“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,” Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson told The Pride L.A. “The Center has provided safe spaces across L.A. for decades, and young Black and Latinx [LGBTQ people] need that kind of support here in their neighborhood.”
The LGBT Center worked with several partners to open the new location, including Bienestar Human Services, Black AIDS Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and The Wall Las Memorias Project.
“Today is the realization of a dream of many years, but this is just the beginning,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri E. Jean on opening day. “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.”