By Michelle Talsma Everson / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ
(Pinal County, AZ) For those in the LGBTQ+ community, support and connection are vital and often make a world of difference to their mental health and well-being. Two Valley-based LGBTQ+ serving nonprofits, in particular, are ready to support Pinal County residents.
Nonprofit organization one•n•ten is dedicated to serving and assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 14 to 24.
“From weekly discussion groups to fun, social networking events, we create a safe space, mentally and physically, for youth of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds,” according to the nonprofit. “We also offer resources to promote healthy choices and living.”
At one•n•ten, youth with particular needs have the option to speak with peers or volunteers one-on-one, in a supervised setting. They provide youth with a variety of tools and opportunities to improve self-esteem and self-acceptance.
one•n•ten offers services for LGBTQ+ youth both in-person and online. They currently have 10 satellite houses across the Valley, including their Queen Creek location at the San Tan Community Center, located at 32805 Occidental Avenue in San Tan Valley.
Sumi Sarkar, a spokesperson for one•n•ten, notes that eight more satellite locations are set to open within the next year as well.
Sarkar shares that one•n•ten offers housing services, clothing, and job opportunities for youth who are experiencing homelessness or who cannot dress as the gender they identify as at home.
“For those who are not able to make it to a satellite location, one•n•ten offers a plethora of virtual programming which youth can find on their website,” she adds. “This includes a discord server where youth can chat with other LGBTQ+ youth in the community safely. For parents of LGBTQ+ youth who are struggling or would like to learn more, one•n•ten also hosts a parents group helping to guide parents in how they can best support their youth.”
To learn more about one•n•ten, including their satellite campus that serves Pinal County residents, visit onenten.org.
Aunt Rita’s Foundation
While based in Phoenix, Aunt Rita’s provides funding to local HIV/AIDS service agencies in Arizona that deliver an array of essential services to people living with HIV or are at-risk for HIV. This includes easy-to-access services for Pinal County residents.
Their services that impact Pinal County include:
Normalized HIV testing is Aunt Rita’s mission. Through GetTestedAZ.org, Arizona residents over the age of 17 can receive a FREE HIV test. HIV testing can be done from the comfort of your own home with an At-Home Test Kit or by receiving a voucher to Albertsons/Safeway Pharmacies or Sonora Quest Labs. Testing is always free, easy, and confidential.
HIVAZ Connect is Aunt Rita’s information and referral program. Through HIVAZ.org and VIHAZ.org, as well as with personalized information and referral Aunt Rita’s is connecting Arizonans to HIV treatment and prevention.
Learn more about all their initiatives and partner agencies at auntritas.org.