Resources available in St. Louis to help LGBT community cope wit -

Resources available in St. Louis to help LGBT community cope with Orlando shooting

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( – Many people in St. Louis are still trying to comprehend what happened in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub and wonder what type of resources are available to help cope.

St. Louis is one of the only major cities without an LGBT community center, something that provides programs for health, wellness and just community connection all in one place.

"We need a place to call home, to be in a community with each other that's not a bar, that's not a public place. It's a place we can be together. It's important to have support groups and resources for each other," said Sayer Johnson, Metro Trans Umbrella Group.

The last center closed down a couple of years ago. Johnson is working with a team of people to create a new one. It will be called The Umbrella Center and is slated to open in 2017.  

"We are just really trying to be intentional about creating a space that is really going to meet the needs of the center," said Johnson.

In the meantime, there are other places where people can find a safe haven.

Katie Stuckenschneider, Communications Organizer for Promoting Equality for all Missourians, PROMO, said, “A big resource is like local coffee shops, for instance, Mokabe's Coffeehouse. It's very well-known, very inclusive of the LGBT community. It is a good place for people to go and talk to people as well as encouraging people not to stop going to local gay bars because I think there is a fear with that right now," said Katie Stuckenschneider.

Stuckenschneider says it's more important now, then ever before for people to talk.

"Throughout the entire community it brings up a lot of memories for some and it's very triggering," said Stuckenschneider.

Many hope the tragedy in Orlando will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the LGBT community.

"We are your neighbors, you might not know it, we might not fly pride flags or hold hands or are kissing, but we are your tax paying citizens and we work hard and play hard and we love people we are Missourians," said Stuckenschneider.

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