In 1973, a small group of teens founded an information clearinghouse, meeting place, and helpline known as Gay Horizons. It offered referrals for professional, medical, and social services from a coffeehouse on Lincoln Avenue and organized annual identity conferences. In 2007, the organization reopened its doors as Center on Halsted, a community center dedicated to strengthening the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
Center on Halsted welcomes more than 1,000 people each day for recreational and development programs, held in a facility that contains classrooms, a technology center, a theater, and a gymnasium. Staff members organize a variety of therapeutic and support services including individual and group counseling, HIV and STD prevention programs, and services for homeless youth. Center on Halsted also works beyond its own walls through its Youth Speak Out program, a 10-week spoken-word apprenticeship held at local schools, and Stand Out, which gathers young people for community-service projects in addition to life-skills sessions.
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