New Assistance for the LGBTQ Community

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BronxWorks is expanding its services to an often marginalized Bronx population, the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and questioning or queer) community in the wake of the highly successful LGBTQ Health & Resources Fair at the Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center in January.

The fair, which is planned to be an annual event, “represents an initial step in our larger institutional initiative towards expanding and enriching services for the Bronx LGBTQ community,” says Yinia Ramirez, who helped organize the event.  Planning is in the early stages for creation of walk-in services geared to specific LGBTQ needs in housing, employment, public benefits, immigration and access to healthcare, she said.
BronxWorks will also collaborate with organizations that can train and assist BronxWorks staff “in making services more sensitive, accessible, and informed for LGBTQ and gender non-conforming clients,” she said.  “BronxWorks intends to leverage its extensive geographic reach and experience to provide this often over-looked population with crucial social services in a welcoming, informed environment.”

Recalling the fair, Yinia estimated 150 people registered and learned about the resources BronxWorks can make available for them.  Attendees were also able to get information on other institutions that serve the LGBTQ community, including some that specifically target community members and others that serve additional segments of the Bronx population as well.  Of particular note was the presence of the New York Police Department, which is concerned about the safety of the LGBTQ community and the impact of hate crimes directed against it.

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