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CareOregon helps True Colors launch first LGBTQ+ Recovery Community Organization in Oregon

Sep 29, 2022, 15:40 PM

Unique peer-run model creates space for people in recovery to build community and get connected to services

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept. 29, 2022)—Today, Portland-based non-profit True Colors launched the first LBGTQIA2S+ recovery community organization in the state of Oregon. Located in Northeast Portland, this center will provide gender-affirming recovery support services to LGBTQIA2S+ adults (age 18+).

“LGBTQ individuals are at increased risk of developing behavioral health issues, partly due to social stigma, discrimination, harassment, and violence,” said Amanda Esquivel, True Colors Executive Director. “As someone in long term recovery, I’ve seen firsthand that there is a need for safe places for folks like me who identify as LGBTQ in the recovery community. The True Colors center is meant to be just that— a safe place for people within the LGBTQIA+ community to gather and find support in their battle to sustain recovery from substances.”

Oregon ranks 50th in the U.S. in access to treatment for substance use disorder. Data shows that individuals who identify as LBGTQIA2S+ are 2-3xs more likely as their heterosexual counterparts to engage in substance use—making the need for gender-affirming recovery support services critically important.

The True Colors center will offer recovery mentoring to individuals who need support, a community center that will be open 365 days a year, civic engagement opportunities, and support in accessing community resources.

By staffing the center with certified recovery mentors who identify as LGBTQ+, True Colors aims to create a welcoming space where adults in the LGBTQ+ community can access recovery support services. These services will aim to affirm identity and allow people to stay true to their-self.

“The launch of True Colors is truly a time for celebration,” said 4D Recovery Executive Director, Tony Vezina who has played a crucial role in expanding recovery services in Oregon. “CareOregon is making a serious step forward in creating access to recovery for the LGBTQ+ community, and I applaud them. In addition, True Colors founder, Amanda Esquivel, is the perfect person to lead this organization. I have known Amanda for the last several years and she worked tirelessly to ready herself for this leadership endeavor.”

True Colors is a new 501c3 non-profit organization that is being provided technical assistance support by Tony Vezina and the team at 4D Recovery. In the last several years the 4D team helped several culturally specific non-profit recovery organizations get off the ground. 4D states this is what recovery is all about.

Funds for the first two years of operations were provided by healthcare organization CareOregon. The $711,000 grant is helping cover staffing, operation, and facility related costs.

“We know that peer-run organizations are able to reach folks in recovery in a way that traditional medical facilities or programs just can’t,” said Jill Archer, Vice President of Behavioral Health at CareOregon. “We’re proud to support True Colors because we believe in their mission and their model. Importantly, we believe that having more community-led programming and leaders like Amanda stepping up to shape policy conversations will help our region build a more responsive approach to address substance use in our community.”

True Colors is located at 3807 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Portland. Its first day of operations will be Oct. 1. For more information about True Colors’ services, visit: https://truecolorsrecovery.org/.

About True Colors:

True Colors Recovery is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing safe space and recovery mentorship to the LGBTQIA+ community. We are open 365 days a year from 3pm to midnight. When you walk into our community center our goal is to make everyone feel welcome and safe enough to show their true colors. Recovery meetings and groups are available throughout the week and are run by community members. All our staff have lived experience with addiction and recovery from substances. If you are needing support or wanting more information on how to navigate recovery please stop by during our business hours or  visit our website at truecolorsrecovery.org and fill out our self-referral sheet.

About 4th Dimension Recovery:

4D Recovery is an innovative youth-specific non-profit recovery organization providing life-saving peer-based recovery services in the tri-counties. 4D was founded by a group of young people in recovery in 2013 and has grown into a leading recovery model in Oregon, providing recovery centers, peer services, public health, housing, and harm-reduction services to thousands annually.

About CareOregon

For more than 25 years, CareOregon has offered health services and community benefit programs to Oregon Health Plan members. Today, we support the needs of nearly 500,000 Oregonians through three coordinated care organizations, a Medicare Advantage plan, a Tribal Care Coordination program, a dental care organization, and in-home medical care with Housecall Providers. CareOregon members have access to integrated physical, dental and mental health care, and substance use treatment. We believe that good health requires more than clinics and hospitals, so we also connect members to housing, fresh food, education and transportation services. CareOregon is a mission-driven, community-based nonprofit with offices in Portland, Medford and Seaside, Oregon.