Destination Tomorrow opens new LGBTQ+ community center in Atlanta – CBS Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Destination Tomorrow, a New York-based LGBTQ+ community center, now has a destination in Atlanta. The black trans-led organization will provide a number of community services in underserved areas.

Organizers cut the ribbon at the Atlanta venue, called DT South, in early May. Sean Coleman, a trans man, founded the organization in the Bronx, New York, in 2009.

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DT South Director of Outreach and Community Engagement Nicole Clark was born and raised in Georgia, but moved to New York in 2011 after losing friends to HIV and AIDS. She became a community advocate there for 10 years, during which time she joined Destination Tomorrow.

“Very few agencies are run by us for us, so it was a big thing for us there who were living in New York at the time,” Clark said. “They provide all kinds of health care, trans care, safe spaces, housing for people living with HIV and AIDS, homeless people. It’s a big thing in New York.

New York resident Jaisen Garcia-Castillo discovered the organization in 2017. “I came as an individual who was on the streets, I thought the streets, the gang, everything was fun and games,” Garcia-Castillo said. “I came to meet groups within Destination Tomorrow, which made me feel more comfortable and made me realize that I’m not the only trans guy here.”

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Garcia-Castillo received drug treatment, counseling and other services. “I’ve been sober for two years, crystal meth free. I’m also opioid free,” he said. He is now a prevention and awareness specialist with the organization.

Atlanta is home to one of the highest LGBTQ+ populations per capita, and data shows that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+.

” Let’s be clear. Atlanta is the gay capital of the south,” said Clark, who is back in Georgia to give Atlanta access to more services. “I wanted to make sure people didn’t have to come from Atlanta to go to New York, because that’s what a lot of people were doing. They called me Harriet Tubman at one point. I ran an underground railroad.

“We are here to help you guys. We are all in this together,” Garcia-Castillo said.

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For more information on Destination Tomorrow and DT Sud, click on here.

Jill E. Washington