Salus Center, one of the few LGBTQIA community centers, trying to raise $80k to stay open

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– The Salus Center in downtown Lansing is a place for members of the LGBTQIA to gather safely and feel welcomed.

They’ve been welcoming people in since 2017.

“The salus center was one of the first places I stopped or I connected with when I moved to Lansing, so it gave me community right away,” said co-director for the Salus Center, Oprah Jrenal.

Due to the pandemic, the center had to close their doors and now keeping up financially has been a struggle.

“We’re at risk of shutting down if we don’t raise $80,000 to secure funding for next year, ” said co-director for the Salus Center, Isabella Copeland.

Already half of that has been raised.

“We are very fortunate to have a super supportive and amazing community that’s helped us raise about 40 already, and we just need that final push to get the second half of our funding to stay open and continue serving the community for the rest of the year,” said Copeland.

They say the money would go towards rent, utilities and everything they need to stay operating. If it isn’t raised, they might not be able to open their doors again.

“I think it would be devastating, there’s noting else like this here in Lansing,” said Copeland.

The pandemic has been lonely for many, so the feeling of community is vital right now.

“Those social supports are more important now more than ever and we really need to be here to support our community that way,” said Copeland.

There is a GoFundMe for the center in hopes of raising the money they need. The center has been offering online services and virtual gatherings during the pandemic, but the goal is to get back in person.

“Our community has higher rates of suicidal ideation and depression and so having spaces like this where someone knows your name and uses your chosen name and uses your pronouns and respects your identity is really important for folks to be whole,” said Jrenal.

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