FAQ: LGBTQ+ Community Resource Center in Whittier
With the help of Assemblymember Lisa Calderon, my office has secured a $4.2 million state grant to transform a vacant County building at 7639 Painter Avenue in the city of Whittier into an LGBTQ+ Community Resource Center.
This center, which is slated to open in early 2024, will provide much-needed support and services to all people in and around Whittier. Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions my office has received on the project.
What services will the center provide?
The center will serve as a hub that offers a wide array of resources, including support groups, substance use disorder treatment, mental health treatment, legal assistance, age-appropriate youth programs, educational workshops, information and referral services. It will also provide cultural programs, social events, community outreach and volunteer opportunities. While the center will offer mental health and behavioral health services, the center itself will not be a medical facility.
Who will operate the center?
The Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (L.A. CADA) will operate the center on behalf of the County. L.A. CADA is a community-based nonprofit that provides person-centered, evidence-based and culturally competent behavioral healthcare to underserved populations including individuals that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and other diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions.
What will the $4.2 million grant go toward?
The County building that will house the center is in need of renovations, including the demolition of interior partitions. The work will include new interior partition walls, finishes, new electrical, new plumbing, and new furniture. The exterior of the building also needs to be refreshed with paint and new signage. While the County will be responsible for these improvements, L.A. CADA will be responsible for maintenance and utilities under the proposed lease.
Why is this center necessary?
This center will fill a critical gap in care for LGBTQ+ support and services in Los Angeles County. Whittier currently has no center primarily dedicated to services and support for the LGBTQ+ community, meaning people who live in and near Whittier have to travel to either Los Angeles or Long Beach for the types of services that will be offered here. It’s important that we make these resources easily accessible to everyone in the Greater Whittier area.