The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th Avenue, TLC4 for short, is a safe space that Tucson's LGBTQ+ and allied youth ages 13-24 can visit in order to access a variety of services to support their health and well-being. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), less than 50% of LGBTQ+ youth say they have an adult in their family they could turn to for help. The top three most important problems for LGBTQ+ youth in their lives right now include non-accepting families, bullying and problems at school, and fear of being out. TLC4 provides critical services and support for youth that need support. Instead of having to be someone else all day at school and then going home and having to continue to be someone else, they are making art, learning suicide prevention and leadership training, and joining a community where they can be themselves. This time spent at TLC4 can make crucial differences in our youths’ lives. Consider our friend Jojo. They say “I have grown so much in my queerness and now that I have a voice, I have been able to find myself and I will continue to grow and evolve with the support from [SAAF].” or Yuvennice who says “[When the center opened,] it made me feel validated. I knew that a lot of people, other than myself and my friends, would be able to appreciate the Center."
Members of the LGBTQ+ community experience worse health outcomes than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts due to factors like low rates of health insurance coverage, high rates of stress due to systematic harassment and discrimination, and a lack of cultural competence in the health care system.
SAAF's new clinic will address these issues that affect LGBTQ+ folks in the health care setting by creating our region's first LGBTQ+-affirming and dedicated health care center. We will offer primary care medical services in a safe and supportive clinical setting designed to increase access to care for the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized individuals while reducing health disparities among Pima County's LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized individuals. To offer these no-cost to patient clinical services our Nurse Practitioner will be experienced in the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and provide care with cultural humility in a non-judgmental, safe environment.
Services will include: