For nearly 50 years, the Center of Colfax has offered resources to all LGBTQ+ community members

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Posted at 12:22 PM, Jun 10, 2024

DENVER — During its nearly 50 years of existence, the Center on Colfax, a nonprofit resource center for Denver’s LGBTQ+ community, has been at the root of many of the city’s Pride celebrations. But all year-long, the Center offers a gathering place, programming, physical, and mental health resources for LGBTQ+ community members of all ages.

Some of the Center’s most popular programming is organized by West of 50.

“West of 50 is for individuals who are 50 years or older...but all are welcome, none are turned away,” Jason Eaton-Lynch, director of elder services for the Center on Colfax, said. “What we really wanted to do is create a space that is an active environment, an environment that's active and fun. And it's by far, one of the most needed areas considering that Colorado has a rapidly aging population. So our participation numbers are always going up. And it's just a great place for older adults to come together to learn, to practice creative aging, and to have a nice time and meet friends.”

West of 50 offers 4 large scale events every year including a talent show, tea dance, a Thanksgiving meal and holiday party.

Eaton-Lynch said programming around the holidays is especially important.

“This is to combat social isolation and to provide a holiday experience to community that may not have that family," Eaton-Lynch said.

The Center also provides social and supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ community members of all ages and backgrounds.

“We have our religious trauma group, our BIPOC group, our AAA group, our coming out group, and our bisexual group. And those are hosted once and twice a month. We have really good participation in all of those groups,” Jaylin Goodloe, Director of Mental Health Services, said.

Goodloe said her team offers social outings to help get the word out about the mental health services offered.

“It's hard to say, oh, ‘I want to do mental health services with someone I don't know’,” Goodloe said. “At the beginning of the year, we had a vision board party, and we had mimosas and chicken and waffles…to celebrate Black History Month, we went to the Museum for Black Girls in the 16th Street Mall. That was super fun. I think we had about 15 people come to that. We've provided the tickets and whatever they needed while they were there.”

Goodloe said the Center also offers free therapy sessions.

“We have our 12 free therapy sessions, no charge or referral or insurance needed whatsoever. Once you get done with those 12 therapy sessions, we have a referral network that we've built up, and we send you out to those people, and we let them know like, ‘hey, this person has completed their 12 sessions and they would like to continue their mental health journey, is there a way that you have an opening or a sliding scale fee that we could kind of work around?’ Then we kind of guide them in a way like that,” Goodloe said. “It's not about something being wrong, or you being broken or having huge trauma, everyone doesn't have a trauma that they need to work on. Some people just need to work on yesterday.”

At its core, the Center is resource that hopes to fuel the soul and social meter of it's members while affirming and empowering all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

For nearly 50 years, the Center of Colfax has been a home to LGBTQ+ Coloradans

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