In this blog: Giving Season Kick Off, Employment Opportunities, Accepting New Clients, Accepting Clothes and Book Donations, and Upcoming Events
Pacific Center for Human Growth: Celebrating 50 Years of LGBTQIA+ Mental Health
(Citation: Richard Boxer, “East Bay Gay Will Counsel Gays,” Berkeley Barb, July 20-25, 1973, 12.)
We’re here, we’re still queer, and we’re 50! As we move toward closing out 2023, the year of our 50th anniversary, we are sharing a final celebration of a half century since the launch of the Pacific Center for Human Growth, the nation's third oldest LGBTQIA+ community center. We are excited to take you on a journey through our evolution from a tiny start-up community center run out of a co-founder's living room to our current incarnation as a preeminent provider of affordable mental health care and peer support services to the Bay Area queer community. Ours is a story of determination and vision, courage and creativity, radical inclusivity and deep attunement to the diverse needs of our constituents through the changes and challenges of the last 50 years. From the early days of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement to the heartbreak of the AIDS crisis to the cultural shift that legalized same-sex marriage, we have been a fierce advocate and a stable safety net for our community.
(Citation: Jim Green, “East Bay Gay Festival,” June 17, 1973. Courtesy of Jim Green. Jim Green, “Richard Boxer (b. 1953 – d. 2006), East Bay Gay Celebration,” May 1974. Courtesy of Jim Green.)
Over the coming weeks leading up to the end of the year, we will explore the ways in which the Pacific Center has enriched the lives of Bay Area LGBTQIA+ folx, delivering help and hope as a reliable resource for compassionate care, a safe space for nourishing relationships, and a proud partner in progress toward liberation and wellness.
(2022 Clinical counseling practicum cohort celebrating their year of completion! We hope they are fulfilling their clinical dreams!)
Today, from our new home in Downtown Berkeley, Pacific Center provides a wide array of critical services, including sliding scale mental health counseling for low income community members and free or donation-based peer support groups, training workshops, HIV+ support and care, and programs for LGBTQIA+ youth and seniors.
(Pictures captured by Fire Dragon Photography during our 50th Golden Dreams Gala back in June of 2023. Left Top picture: crowd gathering during the live auction, with the host Sister Tilda from Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on right bottom corner. Right Bottom picture: Gay Mens Chorus performing at 50th Golden Dreams Gala)
To learn more about Pacific Center’s impact in the early years, check out our historical timeline here. And stay tuned for next week as we dive deeper into the rich past and dynamic future of the Pacific Center.
Support Another 50 Years of LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Services!
(Staff gather around mural made by Nadya Voynovskaya during the Grand Reopening back in October of 2023)
If you are inspired by our work uplifting the LGBTQIA+ community, please support us as we launch our giving season campaign celebrating our 50th anniversary by clicking here. Thank you! Pacific Center for Human Growth
Current Employment Opportunities
Are you looking for an opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the LGBTQ+ community? If you are passionate about promoting mental health, consider joining our team. View our current job listings and learn more about the application process.
Accepting New Clients!
We're pleased to announce that we are now accepting new fall clients. If you or someone you know is seeking professional counseling services in a safe and inclusive environment, we are here for you. To schedule a confidential phone screening and take the first step toward improved mental well-being, please register here.
Accepting Clothes for Our Gender Affirming Closet and Book Donations
Accepting Donations: Clothes for Our Gender Affirming Closet and Book Donations Our community is stronger when we have access to essential resources. We are accepting donations of new clothes for our Gender Affirming Closet and books for our community library. If you have gently used clothes in perfect condition or clothes with tags still on, we'd love to hear from you. Please arrange a meeting with our volunteer coordinator Kitty/Vanessa at firstname.lastname@example.org to review your donation. Similarly, if you have books you'd like to contribute to our library, please contact us to set up a meeting for book donations.
This week is Trans Awareness Week (November 13th-19th): Transgender Awareness Week is a week when transgender people and their allies take action to bring attention to the trans community by educating the public about who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences, and advancing advocacy around issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community. (Link for more info) Check out Pacific Center's trans dedicated peer support groups here!
Trans Day of Remembrance November 20th: Pacific Center for Human Growth, Somas Famila, and Groupo de Apoyo Fénix invite you to join us on November 20th to honor and to remember our trans community that we lost, with chosen family, allies and friends. Accessibility: please use buzzer to access building. We look forward to seeing you there!
Save the Date: Annual Mental Health At The Intersections: Please save the date for our Mental Health at the Intersections conference: May 30, 2024 (8:30-4:00 PM PST) at the California Endowment in Oakland, CA. This year the conference theme is empowering youth through wellness. Mental Health at the Intersections (MHTI) is a FREE day-long conference for mental health providers and community workers that centers care & support for those who sit at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. More details to come. Please save the date and we hope you are able to join us.