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Wedding Reception at Center Provides Space for Hundreds to Celebrate Marriage Equality in New York
On Sunday, July 24, the first day New York same-sex couples could legally marry in the state, the Center and several community partners welcomed 350 friends and family to a wedding reception that paid tribute to their love and commitment. Along with the couples and their guests, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal activist Lieutenant Dan Choi, and actor and marriage equality advocate George Takei and husband Brad Altman made guest appearances to share in this joyous occasion. And thanks to the generous donations of over a dozen businesses, guests enjoyed a beautiful atmosphere with scrumptious food and beverages, while listening to inspiring speeches by marriage equality champions like State Senator Tom Duane and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. The room was filled with love and laughter as couples danced the night away at this truly memorable evening. As evidenced at the event, the Center is the place to gather and celebrate during such poignant moments in our movement for equality.
City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn Speaking at the Wedding Reception
Click here to see pictures from the Wedding Reception
Click here to read coverage from the New York Daily News
Center’s Recovery Program Helps Man Overcome Crystal Meth Addiction
“Jason” describes the weeks prior to his stumbling into Center CARE Recovery as a living nightmare. He went from having a stable, high-earning job to being nearly homeless in a matter of months because of his crystal meth dependence. His substance use escalated to the point of causing debilitating paranoia, anxiety and hallucinations. “Jason” stopped receiving medical treatment, was unable to attend work and was fearful of entering his own apartment because he thought he was being followed. On the encouragement of his friends, he came to Center CARE Recovery to address his mental health needs and addiction. Although reluctant at first, “Jason” slowly adapted to the treatment program at The Center. His mental health was stabilized using medications, counseling and group treatment. In addition, the Center’s team worked closely with his primary care physician to help maintain his physical health. “Jason” started working hard on his recovery, and to date has not used crystal meth for several months. He is no longer paranoid and is now able to return to work on a part time basis while engaging in treatment at Center CARE Recovery. He has formed friendships and is gaining powerful support from others in the program who struggle with similar issues. “Jason” is one of many individuals who have found help at Center CARE Recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact Center CARE Recovery at (646) 556-9300 and ask to speak with a counselor.
Thanks to Shane Spicer, M.D., Medical Director, Center CARE Recovery
Center's Braking the Cycle Ride Has Far Reaching Impacts on Those Living with HIV
"Julio" came to the Center in 2007 to quit smoking. He had heard about the Center’s Commit to Quit Group, and after two bouts with pneumonia, two bronchial washings and many other health problems, decided it was time to end his addiction. After six months in the program he was smoke-free, and has remained that way ever since. “Julio” was able to use the Center’s services not only to help him protect his respiratory health, but also to help improve his low weight and chronic fatigue symptoms resulting from his HIV-positive status. The Center’s HIV/AIDS services provide more than 1,800 counseling and group sessions to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and enable more than 1,000 LGBT youth and young adults to attend HIV prevention activities and leadership training. But many of our wellness programs, while not focused specifically on HIV, can be crucial in helping someone living with HIV maintain their health and well-being. Such programs include Center CARE Recovery, services for LGBT immigrants and life coaching workshops. To help ensure that the Center can continue offering these life-changing and life-saving services, the Center will host its 9th annual Braking the Cycle, a three day, 300 mile bike ride from Boston to New York on September 16 – 18. 150 cyclists will hit the pavement, raising funds for services benefitting those living with HIV/AIDS, and awareness about HIV/AIDS and its effects on the LGBT community.
Click here for more information on Braking the Cycle
Click here for more information on the Center's HIV/AIDS services
Thanks to George Fesser, LMSW, Former Program Coordinator, Center CARE Wellness & Immigration Support
Center’s Project LINK Helps Client Reduce Alcohol and Drug Use and Find a Job
The Center's Project LINK Program provides on-site substance abuse treatment and referral services to individuals at sites in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Mark,” a man in his mid-thirties, visited a NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene clinic in the Bronx seeking treatment services for a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). At the clinic he spoke with a Project Link substance abuse counselor about how his use of alcohol was interfering with his ability and motivation to find work and save money. He had been unemployed for several months and was experiencing depression because of a lack of structure and direction. During the conversation, “Mark” identified that his biggest concern was finding work which served his community and “made a difference” in the world of others. The counselor referred him to a job search website that lists employment opportunities in social services fields and encouraged him to look into the jobs available in the New York City area. Six months later, “Mark” returned to the clinic for a routine STI screening and reported to the counselor that he found a job through the recommended website and had been working for several months. The new purpose and personal fulfillment “Mark” found through his new job helped alleviate his depression and he proudly said that he had significantly reduced his alcohol intake as a result of his dedication to his new line of work. Thanks to the Center’s Project Link staff, “Mark” was able turn his life around and reduce his use of drugs and alcohol; he gained the direction he was looking for.
Thanks to Luke Sleiter, Substance Abuse Interventionist, Project LINK.