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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission:

Persad Center’s mission is to improve the well being of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and HIV+ communities through advocacy, outreach, education, prevention, and counseling services.   

Programs: Non-judgmental counselors help GLBT people deal with depression, anxiety, fear, grief, stress, conflict, prejudice, and coming out.  Persad Center's counselors are specially trained and particularly sensitive to experiences common among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Psychiatric services are also available when needed.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 1

Really? This place is one of the worst things that can happen to you! They'll help you get breasts and then deny you SRS recommendation?! If you want to keep your blank and have breasts this place is for you. But to have someone develope breasts and drop them, deny them srs??That is one of the most wicked and most evil things you can do to another human being! They play mind games with you; if you want to get your life messed with and play teenage mind games, this is the place to go. They use their SRS recommendation as a weapon against you, knowing they have that power over you really seems to get them off. Because I "genuinely" care for those who are suffering; if you are transgender, AVOID this place! And if you are transgender AND suicidal, AVOID this place like the plague! Maybe they don't do this to everyone but, they pick and choose who they'll help and who they won't. I'm telling you from experience, if you have been through absolute hell in your life, persad really seems like they enjoy your pain. They have left me, abandoned me like this. I'm so much more worse off than before I went there. Iam completely broken and if I dwell, I probably won't make it. Its like they want you to die. perSad has left me in a Real Bad spot : (( thanks.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer within the gay community for over 20 years, I find myself very supportive of many organizations, but the one organization that gets most of my attention is Persad Center in Pittsburgh PA. Having volunteered for the organization in many different roles for over 16 years, it is with great pride that I am able to say that I have helped Persad raise over $3,000,000 for their counseling services with their biggest fundraiser Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art. The money raised enables Persad to treat clients with their quality services regardless of the clients ability to pay. These specialized services are so needed in the gay community in order to help those with problems and issues that many other nonspecific counseling centers may not be equipped to understand. A few years ago I aked Betty Hill, the Executive Director of Persad, if she had any little factoids of information that I could use in talking with potential patrons or donors that would help give a picture of what Persad stood for. One of the most interesting and sad statstics, was- that in a nationwide survey, only 11% of counselors and therapists felt comfortable or competent in dealing with LGBTQ issues. When you flip that statistic that means that 89% didn't feel comfortable or competent in dealing with LGBTQ issues. Now, having been in therapy in the past, I know that if there is one thing that you want in/from your therapist is that they feel comfortable and competent in dealing with your issues. Look at it this way you wouldn't take your Mercedes or BMW to a Chevrolet mechanic...sure the mechanic may know the basics about the car but they don't have that specific knowledge or offer the correct services that you need to help fix the problem. Persad is that mechanic who can deal with the specific issues regarding the LGBTQ community and the issues that surround us. As for the future of Persad, I would love to see them in a new space and grow to their fullest potential-and I will be there along the way to help with whatever they need.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I arrived in Pittsburgh in 1999 to join the faculty librarians at the University of Pittsburgh, one of my chief concerns was to be able to find a counselor who would be sensitive to issues of concern to gay men. The Pittsburgh Pink Pages at the time steered me in the direction of Persad. After my initial contact with the staff at Persad, I knew firsthand what a quality organization it was. My intake interview was scheduled quickly, and although the process did not produce a counselor from Persad for my needs, the staff were instrumental in connecting me with another counselor in Pittsburgh with whom I still have sessions. Persad put me on the path of continued mental and emotional stability. Four years ago, I was invited to become one of the members of Persad's Board of Directors. I leapt at the chance, and have found the organization solid, collegial, and productive. The miracles that executive director Betty Hill produces are extraordinary. She has worked tirelessly over the years to keep Persad running, visible, and vital to the southwestern Pennsylvania region.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a longtime volunteer, and one of my family members was a client. I am proud to be involved with this agency, which has long offered services to a population too often ignored and misunderstood. Over the years, Persad has launched innovative programs to respond to new needs: HIV and AIDS, teens, transgender people, and now the aging. It has also expanded its reach to smaller cities in the region which have not had the benefit of experts in lgbtq issues. We are fortunate to have Persad!

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a former client, volunteer, and long time donor to Persad Center. Persad is an incredible resource for the LGBT and HIV+ communities in Western Pennsylvania. They offer mental health counseling, substance abuse services, services for individuals and couples in abusive relationships, gender transition programs, and a host of other services for our community. They offer a host of programs for youth to help them stay in school, stay off the streets, and stay healthy. Importantly, they offer free or subsidized care to people in need. I believe in Persad's mission and programs and will continue to do what I can to support them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

After I moved to Pittsburgh, I heard about Persad via neighbors who were long time donors. When I heard about their mission to provide counseling and prevention services to the LGBT community in western Pennsylvania, I decided to volunteer. Soon, I was recruited as a board member and have served in this role as well as volunteer and donor for over 3 years. I have seen and heard from many people what a positive impact Persad has had on their lives and I look forward to continuing to support the center's efforts to provide and expand their services to those who need them.

Evelyn P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm an ally and I attended Pride this month (June). It was a great experience! I've heard about Persad and its great work, which prompted me to get involved in the future. During Pride, there were some religious representatives, who interfered with their cruel and negative message. It was unpleasant for many people and fortunately I saw a group of individuals, who gathered to push the representatives away. Who was that group? Persad! :-) The group was actively trying to overpower the negative message and send these people away. I was really impressed and very touched. Go Persad!

1 JP S.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My name is JP Sanders, I am transgendered, I've had a PERSAD conselor last summer, and it was very informative for me. I had no way to Pittsburgh, so I met with a conselor, in Washington, Pa. It was so good for me that I'm triing to move to Pittsburgh, so I can live as the person I am. I really want to move to Pittsburgh, and I will get therwe some day. I was born as a baby girl, but I have never felt like a girl. I think of myself as male gender, but my body is female, and that's not who I am. PERSAD has help me a lot, in helping me accept myself as who I really am.

Sirena S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Persad Center is an amazing organization. I was in a miserable state before i found the Persad Center. With the help from some amazing counselors and staff,i found my true self as a transwoman. Now i've been on hrt for over a year and that would have never been possible without their help. I am so much happier and confident as a proud transwoman. I cant speak highly enough about Persad and the excellent care i received.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I saw a therapist and psychologist at Persad a few years ago. I had been seeing another non-Persad therapist, but the switch to Persad was the best decision I have ever made in my mental health care. The care providers were professional, genuine, and accommodating. They helped me figure out the best courses of action and supported me in them 100 percent. The front desk staff were friendly and helpful.