The Mocha Center is a non-profit drop in center focusing on HIV prevention and reducing barriers for LGBTQ people of color. The Mocha Center was founded in 1996. This organization is one of only three across New York State. The center operates as a safe community space where youth can access health education resources including free HIV testing and also find mentorship.
David Sell, health educator at the Mocha Center says it truly is a home for people who feel as if they never had a home and felt as if they never had their voices shared or heard or even respected before.
There are only four full-time staff members there and on a daily basis they can see between 10-20 youth. David Sell says the community support goes a long way.
The pandemic has forced them to close their doors and move into the digital space. Even their annual Pride event is going online. The event is on Saturday, June 27th. They are taking different art works and performances from any different people in their community. You will see drag shows, storytelling as well as some advocacy. David Sells says they just want to show people that within their community there are so many different shades to them and so many skill sets, knowledges and experiences.