The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert has nearly completed its multi-million dollar remodeling and it is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome back the community.
People lined up to tour the renovations which included an expanded behavior health clinic, more group therapy and counseling rooms, a family room, and new technology.
Among the guests and speakers at the event were Mayor Christy Holstege and Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Middleton. One of the center's volunteers, Paul Hietter, reflects on the day the center impacted him most. “Several of the people have put me back together and allowed me to live a life that is now sustainable and livable, where it was not for a period of time. So I feel like I owe my life to this center.”
When the pandemic hit, Hietter lost his job. Already a victim of trauma, he said he had no idea how to manage. He found a safe place and comfort at the center.
The center's executive director and new CEO, Rob Wheeler, said he’s eager to help more people like Hietter.
“This building is the home for LGBTQ folks in the valley," said Wheeler. “I'm just really excited for us to be back together again and for me to be working in a space where community actually is.”
The renovations will help accomplish the center’s mission which is to create a vibrant community by helping LGBTQ people along their way.
“There's no need to suffer anymore. There's really no need to suffer," said Hietter. "So whether you're young or old, it's an opportunity for you to actually start living again and they will they will do their best to put you back together.”
If you want to find out more about the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert and what resources they have to offer, you can head to their website. The center offers of variety of programs for physical and behavioral health for everyone.