New Free2Be LGBT youth center opens in south Alabama - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

New Free2Be LGBT youth center opens in south Alabama

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) -

A new LGBT youth center is open in Dothan.

The non profit organization is reaching out to help youth struggling with their sexuality and their families. The new LGBT center will give youth a place to go for peer support and counseling. Organizers say these resources were very needed in the Wiregrass.

"It puts them off on a much better start in life than I had and that a lot of people have had," said Ambrosia Starling, Free2Be organizer.

Free2Be network brings LGBT people together through partnerships across Alabama and internationally. They have offices in Huntsville, Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Athens and now Dothan, covering south Alabama which was a missing piece to the puzzle.

"So far we've had some sessions and they've went great. We'd like to see that grow," said Amanda Dickey, a Free2Be counselor.

"I knew when we started this how life changing it would have been for me, but to see how life changing it is for other people makes every bit of it worthwhile," Starling said.

Licensed counselors will be available to kids ages 14 to 18 years old. 

"When they go through such things as bullying that seems to be a really big thing. Bullying and depression and anxiety it takes a toll on them, because they don't feel like they have anywhere to go. We always encourage them that their parents are their support system, but they can't always talk to their parents or they don't know how to talk to their parents," Dickey said. 

"It's hard enough when you're trying to figure out and have some confidence about how you feel about yourself, but when you have to worry about how everyone else feels about you, young children shouldn't have to bear alone," Starling said.

The Free2Be Youth peer support group will meet every Tuesday night from 6:00 - 8:00pm. Counseling sessions are available by appointment. For more information call 844-666-6683 or log on to Free2Be.org.

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