Nonprofit organization helps LGBTQ+ people stay sober

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — June 1 marks the start of Pride month. People can expect to see parades, festivals, and concerts to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. As we celebrate Pride Month, we’re introducing to you a local nonprofit which keeps fighting for the LGBTQ+ community. The organization gives people the resources to live drug-free.

Yessinia is a trans woman. She is confident now among her peers. But it didn’t start that way. Yessinia tells me she was addicted to drugs.

“A lot of it started with the fact there was not a lot of support for me. I’m from Kentucky and so I was alone here in the state and it drove my addiction,” said Yessinia.

Yessinia said her addiction took her on a spiral up to the point she exhausted all of her options.

“I was homeless and sleeping out of my car. I had no support around me. At the time, I got fed up,” said Yessinia.

Yessinia was recommended to get assistance from Transpire Help in West Palm Beach. Donna Weinberger is the founder of the nonprofit organization. Weinberger says oftentimes LGBTQIA-plus people typically struggle to be their authentic selves as a kid and could form harmful ways of coping as they grow up.

“If they do make it to adulthood, they may have chosen the round of drugs and alcohol as a way to not let all the trauma take them down to the point where they don’t make it,” said Weinberger.

Transpire Help offers social and medical interventions for the LGBTQ+ community, specifically for trans people. Resources Weinberger said are life-saving to a growing need.

“If we can’t provide the lifesaving interventions that we know work. Our LGBTQ people will end up increasing their drug use, increasing self-harm eventually could lead to suicide,” said Weinberger.

A major fundraiser for Transpire Help, called Pride On The Block – will take place this weekend. Adam Sessa will be the MC for the event.

“There’s too many of us and not enough resources. So with this, bring everyone together for community, for joy, for pride. It lets everyone come out of their shell and be who they are.

Yessinia has been sober since September of last year, all thanks to the strong support system she has now.

“Being able to have that support has really given me an outlook on life where I am so excited for the opportunities that are going to come. And for the first time I actually feel like I am going to be successful in life,” said Yessinia.

Pride on the Block is an annual block party and fundraiser on the 500 block of Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach. Begun in March 2020, this event draws crowds from all over South Florida to celebrate Pride month and raise funds for the local LGBTQ+ nonprofit, Transpire Help.

The block party will take place Saturday, June 4, from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. at 500 Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. There will be an after-party from 9 p.m. to 4 p.m.