Lebanon’s SARCC, or Sexual Assault Resource & Counseling Center, is officially opening its LGBTQIA+ Drop-in Center March 10.

That day, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on the second floor of 615 Cumberland St., hosted by the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce. While the event is free and open to the public, guests are asked to RSVP here due to limited space.

According to the Eventbrite description, “Refreshments, brief remarks, and an opportunity to learn more about the intersections of sexual violence prevention & response work with LGBTQIA+ access and programming will be provided.”

The Drop-in Center, the first of its kind in Lebanon, was launched by SARCC in collaboration with the LGBT Center of Greater Reading to provide a community resource to LGBTQIA+ youth and adults and help them to receive support and connect with others within the community.

The Drop-in Center comes out of a year-long planning and needs assessment effort by SARCC that was funded by a grant from the Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

After opening, the Drop-in Center will be open every Tuesday from 3:00 to 7 p.m. From 3:00 to 5 p.m., the center will be open to youth under 18, while it will be open to adults 18 or older from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

During this time, the Drop-in Center will be staffed by professionals and volunteers with state clearances and training, according to the event press release.

Because LGBTQIA+ youth are more likely to experience sexual victimization and homelessness (another risk factor for sexual victimization), SARCC plans to provide relevant resources.

SARCC is also partnering with the Drop-in Center to “offer support groups for both community members and families, prevention programs, warm meals, and assistance in accessing toiletries, food, and community resources,” the press release said.

For more info or to get involved, contact Yesiann De La Torre Matos by calling 717-270-6972 or emailing ydelatorrematos@sarcclebanon.org.

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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.


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