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Transgender Health & Wellness Center Announces Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting for the Marsha P. Johnson LGBTQ+ Drop-In Center

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Support LGBTQIA+ Youth in The Coachella Valley

Marsha P. Johnson LGBTQ+ Youth Drop-In Center

A safe space for LGBTQ+ Youth in the Coachella Valley

The Transgender Health & Wellness Center (TH&WC) proudly announces the opening of the Marsha P. Johnson LGBTQ+ Youth Drop-In Center (MPJ) in Palm Springs. TH&WC will celebrate this occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, at 12 p.m. The Drop-In Center will serve LGBTQ youth from the ages of 13-18.

The MPJ will provide a safe place and serve as a vital resource for LGBTQ youth in the Coachella Valley. Youth who are bullied, experience transphobic/homophobic abuse in their homes and schools or are experiencing homelessness (or at the risk of experiencing homelessness) will be connected to caring individuals who can help them.

TH&WC is led by CEO Thomi Clinton, whose mission is to be the preeminent provider of services and support to the TGI community and allies — with a focus on youth. The MPJ will reach a wider population of youth who have often not had access to much-needed support.

The new Drop-In Center will be unique to Palm Springs. As a welcoming, youth-centered environment, it will provide access to services with minimal barriers and less paperwork for entering care. It offers mental health and will attend to direct needs like snacks, beverages, and hygiene products. Renae Punzalan, Director of Outreach, notes the MPJ “will be a true desert oasis for those seeking a chill place to be.” While they are here, LGBTQ youth will be able to get connected to important resources.

Trans people overall are disproportionately impacted by poverty and violence; and trans youth are especially vulnerable. One in two experience sexual violence and/or police violence. One in three will attempt to die by suicide before the age of 18. These numbers significantly decrease when they have access to housing, medical care, and employment opportunities; and are able to affirm identities without fear. That’s where MPJ plays a crucial role.

Here are some of the services and programs the new Drop-In Center will be offering:

  • Crisis counseling and intervention; with linkage to free mental health program “Healing Rainbows”
  • LQBTQ family support groups  
  • LGBTQ adolescent healthcare  
  • Programs for increasing self-esteem
  • Guidance for healing from trauma, stress, and depression
  • Helping to find effective ways to affirm who we are internally and/or externally
  • Education on identity(ies).
  • Counseling on how to find support, and how to support oneself 
  • Mentoring and education on mental wellness
  • Food pantry 
  • Game room 
  • Social events 

During the grand opening, MPJ will recognize Palm Springs’ “Front Runners & Walkers”; as they have donated $10,000 to the Drop-In Center. This will enable MPJ to expand its youth services. This event will be attended by Coachella Valley media outlets and community members who share the same goals.

We believe in community support — that it takes a village to help marginalized youth. Donations and funding toward the new youth center will be greatly appreciated.

To learn more about MPJ and our services, please visit our website at or email us at [email protected]. Our doors are always open.

The mission of the Marsha P. Johnson Youth Drop-In Center is to support LGBTQ youth — ensuring that they are empowered and to furnish them with the resources necessary for their continued development. It is located at 340 S. Farrel Drive, Suite A106, Palm Springs, CA 92262; and will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact Information:
Renae Punzalan
Director of Outreach
[email protected]

Thomi Clinton
Chief Executive Officer
[email protected]
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Original Source: Transgender Health & Wellness Center Announces Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting for the Marsha P. Johnson LGBTQ+ Drop-In Center
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