Nonprofit Spotlight: Bienestar

Photo Courtesy of Bienestar South LA

Photo Courtesy of Bienestar South LA

What is the purpose of Bienestar South LA? Our purpose and mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the Latino community and other underserved communities in the South Los Angeles area.  We accomplish this through community education, prevention, mobilization, advocacy, and the provision of direct social support services. [Editor’s note: The word “bienestar” means “well-being.”]

Photo Courtesy of Bienestar

Photo Courtesy of Bienestar

When was Bienestar founded? Bienestar was founded in 1989.

Which areas does Bienestar South LA serve? Bienestar South LA serves Service Provider Area 6.  This consists of South Los Angeles, Compton, parts of Huntington Park, Lynwood, Inglewood and Gardena.

What services does Bienestar provide? Bienestar South LA provides free HIV testing, needle exchange, individual counseling for gay men & transgender women, mental health therapy, workshops for gay men & transgender women, as well as support groups for lesbian women, gay men, transgender women, people living with or affected by HIV, and LGBT youth.

What are Bienestar’s recent accomplishments? Bienestar has recently launched a Substance Abuse Program based out of the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood Centers called “New Dawn”.  This program targets high-risk Latino gay men ages 18-29.  We have also recently been a big part in getting the Latino community educated on the Affordable Care act and Covered California as well as getting them enrolled.  Bienestar was recently given an award of recognition by the West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board for the work we have been doing to advocate and educate the community on transgender issues.

 What does Bienestar consider as…

…top safety issues in South L.A.? 

HIV testing
Safe disposal of needles/syringes

…top education issues in South L.A.?  

HIV/STD education and levels of risk
Adequate schools/education in the area

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993958_166626373525015_423589275_nIn which areas could Bienestar use volunteers? Bienestar can use volunteers at any capacity from individuals conducting table outreach, to Mental Health interns providing services.  We always have a large number of volunteers help out with our social events, fundraisers, etc.  You can never have too many.

What are Bienestar’s affiliated programs? 

CARAS – Program for gay and bisexual Latino men that consists of workshops and a weekly support group.

Tranny Rockstars – Program for young transgender women, consists of workshops, and a weekly support group.

Decisiones Positivas/Positive Decisions – Program for people living with HIV, consists of workshops, and weekly support group.

Sabores/Flavors – Program for LGBT youth, consists of workshops, counseling, and weekly support group.

CRCS (Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services) – Program for gay and bisexual men and transgender women.

Hours: Monday – Friday, 10am-7pm

Contact info: Bienestar South Los Angeles Center Director: Roberto Gomez 323-752-3100, [email protected]

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