What do you like most about your job?
"Helping people! Making the world a better place for LGBTQ people and their families."
- Vanessa Shelmandine, Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center
The New York State Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health and Human Services Network (the Network) is a coalition founded in 1994 and administered by the Pride Agenda Foundation, consisting of 54 LGBT-specific and LGBT-supportive nonprofit organizations that provide care to LGBT New Yorkers and our families. Organizations like AIDS Care in Rochester, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in Manhattan and Long Island’s Pride for Youth provide services that address the continuum of needs facing our communities.
Combined, Network organizations serve nearly 800,000 New Yorkers every year. Network organizations serve all of New York State’s 62 counties – including upstate, downstate, rural and urban populations. Chances are that service providers in your community are members of the Network, too. These organizations provide a broad array of services, including:
- Outreach to LGBT homeless youth
- Direct primary health care services
- Mental health support and treatment
- Substance abuse education, treatment and prevention
- Cultural competency trainings for health care providers
- Counseling and resources for building families
- Education on sexual and reproductive health
Recognizing that our community’s health challenges are unique and not documented by our state, the Network conducted a Needs Assessment in 2009 which showed that LGBT New Yorkers trail the general population in several measures of health and well-being. 40% of the nearly 3,500 respondents reported there were “not enough health professionals who are adequately trained and competent to deliver health care to LGBT people.” 42% of respondents said that “community fear or dislike of LGBT people” was another major problem. 43.2% of LGBT New Yorkers report having less access to health care because of their financial situation. In the LGBT community, a population where health disparities too often have gone unnoticed, these barriers are all too often a matter of life and death.
Much of the problem comes down to a lack of cultural competency on LGBT issues among providers of health and human services. A relative lack of data about our community being collected by the state government makes it harder to advocate for appropriate services for our community.
We know the best way to take care of our community, which is why LGBT-specific organizations and services are so critical. Every day Network members work together and individually to fill the gap in care. Together, we can shatter stereotypes and find real solutions.
The Network is administered by the Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation and operates democratically. Network members also support and learn from each other, help build capacity and increase their ability to foster a safer and more supportive state for all LGBT people. For example, recognizing that many transgender clients have varied life experiences—many of which involve a combination of racism, classism and trans- or homophobia—the Network works to improve the quality of resources and care that each organization can offer to this community.
2013: New York State Transgender Resource Guide
This resource guide is hosted by the Network as a public service to the transgender and gender non-conforming communities of New York State, as well as allies, family, and providers.
2013: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Disparities in New York City
The most comprehensive report on the health disparities faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in New York City. The report outlines data collected by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and is the first to examine how race, ethnicity, gender, poverty and age affect the health of the LGBT communities.
2012: New York State LGBT Health & Human Services Network Report
Check out the latest edition of our annual report for more background and data on the Network.
2010: A Blueprint for Meeting LGBT Health and Human Services Needs in New York State
Developed by the Network, along with the Hunter College LGBT Institute and the Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation, this report offers a path forward on tackling the disparities faced by our community.
2009: LGBT Health and Human Services Needs in New York State
This report shows how LGBT communities face greater barriers to health than other New Yorkers.