The Central Illinois Pride Health Center is an up and coming center located in the city of Bloomington, Illinois. To give you all a little background, Bloomington is a very small city “in the middle of nowhere”, in the words of Len Meyer, the Executive Director and brains behind this center. The population of Bloomington certainly has a variety of needs, and Len saw that the needs of the LGBT population was not being met, and took this as an opportunity to create a safe-haven for this population within the small town.
Len, what prompted you to create The Central Illinois Pride Health Center?
“During my undergraduate career, I had to work on a Capstone project, and I essentially researched this population. I saw that there was not enough support for this population, and I wanted to give these people a sense of community; a place that they can feel safe and understood”.
Len saw a group that did not have a voice and was able to create something amazing out of it.
We know that the organization is just getting started. What have you done thus far to help the LGBT community of Bloomington?
“As of right now, our social support groups are active. We have a weekly youth group, and that has been very successful already. On top of that, we have an adult group that meets quarterly and a parents group that meets once a month. The parents group has received lots of positive feedback, especially because it has given families the chance to bond with others like theirs. We also had a youth resource fair last month, and people were able to get tested for HIV and STI’s as well.”
It’s amazing to see everything this center has already done, and this is just the beginning according to Len Meyer.
What’s next for The Central Illinois Pride Health Center?
“Once the center opens this summer, we are going to have mental health and medical services. Our focus is directed at the youth, because they are the population without adequate resources to battle their issues, however, our doors are open to anyone. We will have primary care for pediatrics, youth, and adults as well as mental health care and guidance. We also want to have a holistic wellness approach to the LGBT community.”
What would you like to see this center accomplish within the upcoming years?
“I want to work on creating and maintaining partnerships and collaborations with other organizations. I don’t want it to just be about this one center. I want to create a network, and I would like to see us grow to other neighboring cities. This is the best way to help our community.”
We are excited to see The Central Illinois Pride Health Center continue to do extraordinary things, and we cannot wait to see where our partnership will take us in the future! We wish nothing but the best for Len and their center.
Check them out at: https://cipridehealthcenter.org/