Purple, orange, pink & red gradient background with white border. Big letters on top say "join us." Underneath says "Lighthouse Learning Series" with a picture of the lighthouse logo next to it. Below is large glowing text that reads "Queer Youth Who Use Drugs." There are pictures of young people at the bottom in black and white. Under is the date and registration link: Friday, January 27, 2023 12-2 pm ET on Zoom bit.ly/LighthouseLearningSeries2.

Lighthouse Learning Series: Queer Youth Who Use Drugs

Starting in January 2023 and running until April 2023, we will be covering a series of queer harm reduction topics with the goal of creating a more inclusive movement.

Priority is given to those living and working in New York due to program scope. However, the series will be held virtually and is open to all those who would like to build on their harm reduction knowledge to provide better services to LGB/TGNC+ folks!

Session Description: In 2015 The LGBT Community Center in New York City started the first OASAS Licensed Recovery and Substance Use Treatment Program geared towards LGBTQ Youth in New York State! Come join us to discuss the needs of Queer youth who could benefit from support with Substance use and how this program was designed and launched. This workshop will cover creating affirming spaces for queer youth, the exploration of why LGBTQ youth are at an increased prevalence for substance use, and what factors can help offset these risk factors utilizing client-centered and harm reduction approaches. We will also explore different treatment modalities that can be used, including focusing on the needs of Trans and Non-Binary youth and young adults when providing treatment and recovery services.

Facilitator Bios:

Kayla Quan, MSW (she/they) is a Chinese-Filipinx American social worker and Youth Substance Use Treatment Counselor at The LGBT Center. With a background in Art and Community Studies, they hope to integrate a social justice-oriented, creative praxis alongside their clinical training. Her interests include critical consciousness-raising, liberation-based practice, decolonial frameworks, trauma-informed practice, harm reduction, and language that reclaims joy despite grief. Their goal as a service provider is to champion my beloved community members, LGBTQIA+ and TGD (transgender and gender diverse) youth, as we explore healing, wellness, and recovery through a collaborative and client-centered approach.

Peter Karys (he/him), a social worker and the Director of Youth Counseling & Support, has been with The Center since May of 2013. Peter oversees The Center’s continuum of youth substance use support services encompassing our prevention, recovery, and clubhouse programs while also serving as the co-director of Center Youth’s drop-in programming and services. Peter previously supervised a team of therapists at the New York Foundling working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system utilizing evidence-based family interventions. Peter holds a Master of Social Work degree from New York University and a Master of Psychology degree from Wesleyan University. Prior to entering social services, Peter worked at Lambda Legal as the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project Legal Assistant, supporting lawyers in a joint initiative with the Child Welfare League of America dedicated to addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth in care.

Silas Norum-Gross (they/them) is a social work intern at the LGBT Community Center.  They work on the Youth Recovery Team as a group facilitator and a one-on-one counselor.  Having worked at the LGBT Community Center in New Orleans as well, Silas has a background in non-profit community organizing and mutual aid.  They hold a Master’s in Sociology, which allows them to practice from a socially critical and culturally-informed place.  Currently, they are enrolled at Yeshiva University, working towards a Master’s in Social Work and a CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor).  Silas is pursuing a career in which they can incorporate the social justice lens at the Center while also employing the different therapeutic approaches and interventions they have learned during their time there. They look forward to continuing to offer members of the LGBTQ+ community with affirmative, supportive care.

Shana Salzberg (they/he) is a trans, white Ashkenazi social worker and youth substance use treatment counselor. Their background for the last 6 years has been in youth organizing and running empowerment workshops with young people who have a foster care background. He loves working with youth and was excited to enhance my individual clinical skills after attending social work school at Hunter’s Silberman School of Social Work. Their passion for Individual and group counseling is informed by my liberation-focused and person-centered approach. Shana believes the youth they work with in The Center Youth Recovery Program are the experts in their own lives, and he is honored to walk alongside and support them with new skills as they find their own paths to healing.


National Harm Reduction Coalition logo in black bold text, underlined