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Destination Tomorrow opens new Atlanta LGBTQ+ community center

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 on the Atlanta location, which is called DT South, in early May. Sean Coleman, a trans man, founded the organization in the Bronx, New York in 2009.

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, and during that time joined Destination Tomorrow.

"Very few agencies are ran by us for us, so this was a big thing for us there that were living in New York City at the time," Clark said. "They provide all kinds of healthcare, trans care, safe spaces, housing for people living with HIV and AIDS, people that are facing homelessness. It's a big thing in New York City."

New York Resident Jaisen Garcia-Castillo discovered the organization in 2017. "I came as this individual who was in the streets, thought that the streets, the gang, everything was fun and games," Garcia-Castillo said. "I came meeting in groups within Destination Tomorrow that made feel more comfortable and that made me realize that I'm not the only trans man out here."

Garcia-Castillo received drug treatment, counseling and other services. "I am two years clean, off crystal meth. I am clean off opioids as well," he said. He's now a prevention and outreach specialist with the organization.

Atlanta is home to one of the highest LGBTQ+ populations per capita, and data shows 40% of youth who are experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+.

"Let's be clear. Atlanta is the Gay Capitol of the South," said Clark, who is back home in Georgia to give Atlanta access to more services. "I wanted to make it so that people didn't have to come from Atlanta to go to New York, because that's what a lot of people were doing. They were calling me Harriet Tubman at one time. I was running an underground railroad."

"We're here to help you guys. We're all in this together," Garcia-Castillo said.

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

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