BY THE COMMUNITY. FOR THE COMMUNITY.
NATION’S PIONEERING TRANS WELLNESS CENTER OPENS IN LOS ANGELES
Six Local Organizations Collaborate to Provide Comprehensive Services and Support Under One Roof to Transgender and Non-Binary People
LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2018 — The Trans Wellness Center (TWC) opened its doors today in Los Angeles, providing comprehensive resources and services for transgender and non-binary people under one roof. The 3,000-square-foot TWC is the first-of-its-kind center in the United States, with six local organizations joining forces to create this new home for wellness.
“The Trans Wellness Center was conceived and created by community leaders and allies, honoring their lifelong dedication to raise awareness about the needs and the contributions of the transgender community,” said TWC Program Manager Mariana Marroquin. “I am honored to be part of this new and exciting effort to empower the transgender and non-binary communities—no matter how challenging life may be for some of us. Let’s fight for our rights and a better future!”
Funded through a $1 million annual grant for three to five years from the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the development and opening of the TWC, located at 3055 Wilshire Blvd. near the Koreatown and Wilshire Center neighborhoods, was 10 years in the making. As a result, the TWC was formed by the following six local community organizations: APAIT (Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team); Bienestar; Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles; Friends Community Center; [email protected] Coalition; and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which is leading the management and operations support for the TWC.
“We value all clients having access to all the services needed as well as creating spaces that are welcoming and culturally appropriate for all transgender people,” said Bienestar Director of Programs and Services Brendan O’Connell. “With more than 21 years of experience providing health and wellness programs to the Latina transgender community, we are committed to providing comprehensive services to Los Angeles’ transgender community from the Trans Wellness Center’s one-stop, centralized location.”
Guided by an eight-person Community Advisory Board comprised of transgender and non-binary people to ensure community needs are met, the TWC will provide hormone therapy and transition resources; HIV testing and care; mental and sexual health services and education; occupational training; and housing and legal services, among others.
“We finally have a space that is dedicated to the overall well-being of transgender people,” said APAIT Health Educator Jaden Fields. “As a community partner, APAIT will be providing services and programming to address the economic empowerment of transgender people.”
“The Trans Wellness Center is the first-of-its-kind in Los Angeles and in the nation, providing a safe place and resources for transgender and non-binary individuals,” said Friends Community Center HIV Outreach Educator April Saravia.
“For the first time in the history of the transgender movement, trans and non-binary individuals finally have a safe, friendly, and non-judgmental area where they can find a wide range of vital services under one roof created by—and for—the community,” said Marroquin. “With the generous support of the County of Los Angeles and the partnership of six local organizations, the Trans Wellness Center will be an exemplary landmark for the LGBT community.”