This week we were honored to meet up with Cole Foust, LGBTQ+ Youth and Transgender Program Coordinator at Metro Wellness & Community Centers, to get a tour and see the progress being made at the newly renovated center in St. Petersburg and find out whats happening at the LGBTQ Welcome Center in the Grand Central District.

The changes at Metro Wellness are already looking amazing and you can see the additional reach this organization is making in our communities. Cole explained all the outreach programs, health services, testing, counseling and so much more that Metro currently offers. There are so many programs we learned about from Transgender support groups, youth support and education, and even sensitivity training that Metro can provide to organizations in the business community.

The LGBTQ Welcome Center offers a much more relaxed environment to serve various communities especially for the Youth andTransgender support groups, meet-ups and events. Cole mentioned that seniors are able to get together for activities like card games. This is one of the primary reasons we chose this organization to raise money for this pride season, LGBTQ youth are still at higher risk for bullying and teenage homelessness. Shockingly even in 2018 LGBTQ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth and may be more likely than their heterosexual and gender-conforming peers to experience abuse, bullying, and mental health problems.

Metro Wellness is an invaluable resource within our community and across the entire Tampa Bay region so in addition to showing your pride by sporting a fabulous Phoenix3 pride shirt to raise funds for the LGBTQ Welcome Center, there are great needs for volunteers and supplies for various programs they have continually going on. We invite you to reach out and get involved!  For more information please check out their site here!

Happy Pride and thanks for helping raise awareness and support!