Elizabeth Schedl is the Deputy Director of the Hudson Pride Connections Center located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her organization partnered with Say It With A Condom to spread awareness on PrEP as part of their preventative service program. The Hudson Pride Connections Center caters to the LGBT community within Hudson County, and gives this community a home and a voice. Hudson Pride Connections Center has made some major changes to Hudson County, so read on to learn a bit more about what they do!

[caption id="attachment_673" align="aligncenter" width="150"] Liz-Schedl-Picture Elizabeth Schedl[/caption] [caption id="attachment_677" align="aligncenter" width="300"]unnamed Condoms Designed by Say It With A Condom[/caption]

What types of services does the Hudson Pride Connections Center offer?

“We offer so much, but some of our most popular services are peer led social support groups, public events such as the youth prom and holiday dinners, drug and alcohol preventative services and workshops, residential housing, and HIV and PrEP services.”

We can see why so many people consider the Hudson Pride Connections Center a second home.

Luckily enough, this center also has a very good relationship with the police department. The police department offers their time and services at no cost to accompany employees when they do their ‘Ryan White’ HIV late night outreach program. “We’re lucky to have such a good relationship with the police. It makes us feel more safe when we’re doing our work, and considering many of our clients are from the inner-city, they feel a lot more comfortable too. They feel as if they are being accepted.”

How did you get started in this line of work?

“It’s something i’ve been interested in for quite a long time. I actually started the first ever LGBT organization on my college campus, and it received major support. We ended up winning an ‘organization of the year’ award within the first year. Then I worked for the Victory Fund in D.C. before moving back to Jersey. I’ve been working at the Hudson Pride Connections Center since then, and I’ve worked my way up to where I am now.”

It’s great to see that the employees at this center have a comprehensive background and are really devoted to their work.

What have been some major obstacles your organization has faced?

“Thankfully, Hudson County is very accepting of the LGBT community. However, it is very frustrating to see that there are still people out there today that will not acknowledge this community, or do not even know that they exist.”

We agree Elizabeth, especially with technology being at our fingertips every second of the way. Google.com is a beautiful thing.

How did your partnership with Say It With A Condom help enhance the delivery of your message?

“People love the PrEP condoms created by Say It With A Condom. They’re very informative, and I think it's extremely important that people are being handed a direct solution to some of these issues we’re trying to combat.”

We’re happy to hear that our PrEP condoms are raising awareness and starting important conversations.

What do you hope to see happen in the future?

“I would love to see more awareness regarding PrEP. It is fairly new, but not new enough that people shouldn’t know what it is. People need to get educated and know their options.” Elizabeth also talked about how topics such as bullying and HIV need more attention.

“People still have a 1980’s understanding of HIV, but we’ve come so far since then.”

We cannot wait to see what new campaigns we can launch with the Hudson Pride Connections Center and other LGBT organizations in the future. Stay protected, and Say It With A Condom!