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Mexican Independence Parade

Once again, BIENESTAR will participate in the Mexican Independence Parade in East Los Angeles. It is a very important event to create a presence and to continue our efforts to eliminate homophobia in the community. We hope you will be able to join us!

 

 

FIESTA DE LAS AMERICAS

BIENESTAR will celebrate the FIESTA DE LAS AMERICAS on Thursday, September 5 at COCO BONGO, RESEDA. Will honor celebrities from Latin America for their contributions to the Latino community in the United States.
We hope you can join us!

 

Miss BIENESTAR 2013

Miss BIENESTAR 2013, organized by Transgeneros Unidas (TU) program took place on Monday August 19th at ARENA Nightclub. Miss BIENESTAR is a leadership development intervention with the goal to develop agents of change and to create a healthier transgender community in Los Angeles.

Since 1997, BIENESTAR’s TU Program has been a unique peer-based program dedicated to positively impacting the health and well-being of the Latina Transgender community in Southern California. Miss BIENESTAR’s also aims to strengthen the Transgender community and it is a unique opportunity to represent BIENESTAR for one year. Karla Carmona is our new Miss BIENESTAR 2013

 

 

BIENESTAR APPLAUDS THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT ON DOMA AND PROP. 8

      

    National Office: 5326 East Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90022    (323) 727-7896

www.bienestar.org

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                   

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION                                

June 26, 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                  

                    

CONTACT:

Victor Martinez: (323) 727-7896

vmartinez@bienestar.org

Tino Pinon (818) 667-2323

tpinon@bienestar.org

BIENESTAR APPLAUDS THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT ON DOMA AND

PROP. 8

 

The premier Latino LGBT health and wellness organization qualified today as a historical day for social justice

LOS ANGELES, CA - In a landmark ruling today, the Supreme Court  of  United States toppled a key provision of the law of defense of marriage (DOMA,), regulating that couples the same sex legally married can now receive federal benefits and opened the way for same sex  marriage to be legal again  in California

Oscar De La O President of  BIENESTAR, declared as a victory the decision of the Supreme Court and emphasized "today is a historic day for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and the society in general. Today equality, equity and justice for all was reaffirmed. Although there are still many steps to take to have a fair society without discrimination, today was a great triumph ", concluded Mr. De La O.

Similarly, the Supreme Court ruled against appeal Proposition 8 of California, which declared that marriages in this state could only be performed between a man and a woman, and declared valid a decision of the court of ninth circuit that already had failed against it.

Since 1989, BIENESTAR has been committed to enhancing the health and well-being of the Latino community and other underserved communities in Southern California. We accomplish this through our unique peer-to peer service model, community outreach, health education and awareness and human rights advocacy for social justice.We operate nine centers throughout Southern California

 

Visit www.BIENESTAR.org for additional information. Join us on Facebook: BIENESTAR Familia.

 

National HIV Testing Day is on June 27.


BIENESTAR will have a week of testing events from June 25-28 at our community centers and in our mobile units. More than 1 million people are living with HIV in the United States, but 1 in 5 don’t know they are infected. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone ages 13-64 be tested for HIV at least once. Know your HIV status. Take the Test. Take Control.

 

 

 

Once again, BIENESTAR is proud to collaborate with the HIV/AIDS and the Gay and Lesbian Catholic Ministry from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to present BUSQUEDA ESPIRITUAL (Spiritual Search) - An experience for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community-. It will be three retreats in different locations, including our San Fernando Valley and Pomona Centers.

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

September 11, 2012

 

CONTACT:

Kerrie L. Campbell, Esq. 202.585.6526

kcampbell@manatt.com

 

 

 

 

LATINO SOCIAL SERVICES CENTER SERVING LGBT, HIV/AIDS

AND AT-RISK COMMUNITIES SEEKS SUPPORT

FOR VITAL SERVICES IN VAN NUYS

BIENESTAR, a Southern California-based social services organization primarily serving the Latino LGBT, HIV/AIDS and at-risk communities, is currently without a permanent Van Nuys center, severely impacting its ability to provide much-needed services to vulnerable constituencies. Here is how you can help.

LOS ANGELES, CA [September 11, 2012] -  The abrupt ouster from a newly relocated Van Nuys location of BIENESTAR, a social services organization providing critical services to Southern California’s Latino LGBT, HIV/AIDS and at-risk communities, has severely hampered the organization’s ability to provide much-needed services, depriving the most vulnerable of vital support. Though stopgap measures have allowed for the provision of basic services, a permanent solution is needed and BIENESTAR is looking to the community for support.

For more than 16 years, BIENESTAR has operated a Van Nuys center, providing HIV prevention and education services. Since launching, BIENESTAR has expanded services to include psychosocial case management for HIV-positive people (focused on retention in medical care), mental health services, housing assistance, and state-certified substance abuse outpatient treatment.

In late August, BIENESTAR moved its Van Nuys’ operations to a new space. Within 48 hours, its lease was terminated, leaving the organization without a permanent home in the city.

 “With no place to operate, BIENESTAR is currently able to provide only limited services from our mobile unit, three days a week, four hours each day,” said Oscar De La O, president and CEO of BIENESTAR. “Services are limited to providing HIV testing and referrals and linkages to other service providers, but we are not able to assist registered clients to provide them with case management, housing assistance and mental health services. Our No. 1 priority is to secure appropriate space where we can resume our mission to provide the complete array of services that the severely underserved Van Nuys LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities urgently need.”

Committed for more than two decades to providing assistance to at-risk communities, BIENESTAR looks to the larger community, which has always stood with the organization, for support.

“We have been overwhelmed and inspired by the reaction to this urgent need. Many have asked what they can do to help,” said De La O.  BIENESTAR has detailed ways that members of the community can be a part of a long-term solution, including:

  • Increase awareness and educate.HIV testing is essential to preventing transmission of the virus. Treatment can begin once HIV status is known, and individuals in HIV treatment and with an undetectable viral load can reduce transmission by 96 percent. For more information on HIV/AIDS, visit www.bienestar.org.
  • Donate.BIENESTAR welcomes financial contributions to help reopen the Van Nuys center and to continue to offer vital services to the community. Visit www.bienestar.org to make a donation.
  • Join.Everyone deserves to be treated equally and with respect regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Join the team of supporters in making a statement — “I am BIENESTAR” — at www.bienestar.org. or in Facebook  I am/ Yo soy Bienestar
  • Volunteer.Be a part of BIENESTAR’s important work. Begin by telling your story. What is your passion and how can you help make a difference? Email vmartinez@bienestar.org .

 Of the eviction, Kerrie L. Campbell, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and counsel to BIENESTAR, said that the organization “is taking all necessary and appropriate steps to protect its legal rights and its ability to provide essential services to the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities. While we are actively engaged in the legal process, we will not comment on pending litigation.”

De La O reaffirmed that “BIENESTAR is steadfastly committed to serving the Van Nuys community and wants to resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible.”

The organization is temporarily stationed in front of its previous location, 14515 Hamlin St., Van Nuys, CA 91411. Services are available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

August 31, 2012

CONTACT:

Kerrie L. Campbell, Esq. 202.585.6526

   kcampbell@manatt.com

LATINO SOCIAL SERVICES CENTER SERVING LGBT, HIV/AIDS AND AT-RISK COMMUNITIES UNLAWFULLY EVICTED FROM VAN NUYS LOCATION 48 HOURS AFTER OPENING ITS DOORS.

 

BIENESTAR, a Southern California-based social services organization primarily serving the Latino LGBT, HIV/AIDS and at-risk communities, files discrimination suit after a Van Nuys landlord who entered into a lease agreement with BIENESTAR illegally terminated the lease and changed the locks, saying BIENESTAR was "bringing disease" to the building.   BIENESTAR seeks court order for immediate access to its property and files.

LOS ANGELES, CA [August 31, 2012] - After a thorough search for space and negotiating a three-year office lease, BIENESTAR, a social services organization providing critical services to Southern California's Latino LGBT, HIV/AIDS and at-risk communities for more than two decades, relocated its Van Nuys center to 14546 Hamlin St. on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012. The staff began providing services at their new location on Monday, Aug. 13, and by Tuesday, Aug. 14, the new center was fully operational. That same day, the building's landlord abruptly demanded that BIENESTAR immediately remove its belongings and leave the premises. A locksmith arrived a few hours later and changed the locks on the doors. The landlord informed BIENESTAR on Aug. 15 - two days after BIENESTAR opened the center - that he was immediately and permanently terminating the lease. Since that date, the landlord has unlawfully denied BIENESTAR access to retrieve its property, leaving vulnerable populations without convenient access to critical services.

 

Today, BIENESTAR filed suit against the building's landlord and gave notice that it will seek immediate injuctive relief to gain access to its property, including confidential client files.

 

"We feel that we have been treated unfairly . . . the landlord's actions are a shocking example of the kind of LGBT and HIV/AIDS discrimination that BIENESTAR has committed itself to fight against and overcome since we started serving the community in 1989" stated Oscar De La O, president and CEO of BIENESTAR. "This situation is very unexpected and distressing, especially when we have performed these same services half a block down the street from this Van Nuys location for 12 years. We have never faced this kind of situation before at any of our nine Southern California centers" added De La O. "We are deeply committed to stopping all forms of LGBT and HIV/AIDS discrimination, including this discrimination against BIENESTAR as a service provider to the community."

 

"There is no legal or rational basis for the landlord's highly discriminatory and disruptive action against BIENESTAR. It is harmful to the Van Nuys community at large and, in particular, its members who need and rely on the organization's services," said Kerrie L. Campbell, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and counsel to BIENESTAR. After initially providing the service organization with no basis for its sudden eviction, the landlord claimed that BIENESTAR's activities are an inappropriate use of the space and that BIENESTAR is "bringing disease" to the building.

 

"BIENESTAR is taking all necessary and reasonable steps to recover its property, enforce its legal rights, and find a way to continue to provide much-needed services to its clients and the community as quickly and effectively as it can," Campbell said. "BIENESTAR's primary concern, as it has been for 20 years, is the well-being of the people and Southern California communities it serves."

 

De La O affirmed that "BIENESTAR is steadfastly committed to serving the Van Nuys community and wants to resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible." For now, BIENESTAR will be conducting limited services in Van Nuys from its mobile unit, including case management, rapid HIV testing, referrals and linkages to other social services. The organization will be temporarily stationed in front of its previous location, 14515 Hamlin St., Van Nuys, CA 91411. Services will be available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

About BIENESTAR:
BIENESTAR is a grass-roots, non-profit, community-based social services organization, established in 1989, and dedicated to positively impacting the health and well-being of the Latino community and other underserved communities in Southern California. BIENESTAR uses an innovative and compassionate peer-to-peer model that is 100 percent culturally relevant to its constituents. Clients are met with understanding and acceptance that builds trust and fosters a unique sense of family.  There are nine Southern California community centers strategically located in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties to reach the Latino population and link them to health and social services agencies. BIENESTAR's outreach teams are deployed to clubs, colleges, parks and other locales where the target population congregates within the community.

BIENESTAR is an expert voice on emerging health issues. Key to its success is health education and awareness regarding HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and drug prevention. It primarily serves the Latino lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender segments of the community, employing an approach that empowers clients to improve their physical and mental health and become productive members of society.

 

BIENESTAR has a proven track record of HIV testing among Latinos and other underserved populations since 2001. Consistent with the White House's National AIDS Strategy, HIV testing is a key strategy to BIENESTAR's grass-roots response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These services are critical for community members to know their status and remain HIV negative.   BIENESTAR also provides essential services to HIV-positive individuals, helping them to manage the infection, increase viral suppression and minimize HIV transmission.

 
 
About BIENESTAR'S Van Nuys Center:

The Van Nuys community has been especially hard-hit by high rates of HIV transmission. BIENESTAR began serving the Van Nuys community in 1996, in direct response to this urgent need. BIENESTAR's Van Nuys center has grown from a staff of two to 10, and serves close to 2,000 individuals annually with culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

 

The panoply of services offered at the Van Nuys center includes HIV prevention and education, rapid HIV testing, skills-building workshops, condom distribution and community outreach; psychosocial case management for HIV-positive people focused on retention in medical care, mental health services, support groups, food banks, treatment adherence and access to benefits; and housing assistance, including referrals and placement in permanent and transitional housing, application support, and follow-up. BIENESTAR's services have recently expanded to include mental health services and state-certified substance abuse outpatient treatment to the greater community. The suspension or curtailment of these services is a threat to the health and well-being of the Van Nuys community.

Since 1989, BIENESTAR is committed to enhancing the health and well-being of the Latino LGBT community and other underserved communities in Southern California. We accomplish this through our unique peer-to peer service model, community outreach, health education and awareness and human rights advocacy for social justice. We operate nine centers throughout Southern California Visit www.BIENESTAR.org  for additional information. Join us on Facebook.com/ BIENESTARFamilia and twitter BIENESTARORG

 

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Assemblymember Lara Historic LGBTQ Bill of Rights Resolution Clears Assembly

 

Resolution sponsored by BIENESTAR calling on President and Congress to include "sexual orientation, gender identity" in landmark federal anti-discrimination laws is now headed to the Senate

 

In a historic call to action, today Assembly Member Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) successfully advanced AJR 43 out of the Assembly, moving the California Legislature a step closer in declaring that 'sexual orientation and gender identity' should be included alongside 'race, color, sex, national origin, disability, age and religion' in all federal anti-discrimination laws. AJR 43 passed out of the Assembly on an 52 to 18 vote.

 

"Because of a lack of protections at the federal level, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Americans are at the mercy of state laws that can either protect them, or target them for further discrimination. As a result, every day millions of LGBTQ individuals live in fear that they could be legally fired from their job, could be denied time off of work to care for an ailing partner, or be bullied or harassed at school simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. AJR 43 is an urgent call for justice to the President of the United States and Congress to take immediate action to provide comprehensive, federal protections for the LGBTQ population," said Lara.

 

"Including sexual orientation and gender identity in all federal anti-discrimination laws will enhance the health, social and economic well-being of LGBTQ Americans. We are grateful Assemblymember Lara is leading the charge on behalf of the LGBTQ population and is urgently calling for justice for all Americans." said Oscar De La O, Executive Director of BIENESTAR.

 

AJR 43, sponsored by Bienestar Human Services, Inc, (BIENESTAR), brings the issue of equal rights for LGBTQ individuals to the forefront of American consciousness. Currently most federal anti-discrimination laws withhold equal status and parity for LGBT individuals, which deny this population many basic and fundamental protections and benefits.

 

Once passed, the President of the United States, each United States Senator and Representative, and each presiding officer of each house of each state legislature of the across our nation will receive a copy of the resolution.

 

We need your help to continue our advocacy efforts. You can help our efforts for justice for all Americans by making a donation of whatever amount you can contribute to ensure equality for all.

 

You can make a donation in our website by clicking here

 

Bienestar Human Services, Inc., one of the largest Latino community-based organizations in the United States addresses the social services, health promotion, and social justice issues of Latinos. Since 1989, BIENESTAR has been committed to enhancing the health and well-being of the Latino community and other underserved communities in Southern California. Visit www.bienestar.org for additional information.

Funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), the State of California, Department of Health Services, Office of AIDS and the County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services, Office of AIDS Programs and Policy (OAPP).