Joyce Matera is the National Marketing Director for Inspire Recovery. Inspire is located in West Palm Beach and it’s specifically for people under the LGBTQ umbrella with a specific focus on helping transgender people. Having a safe place for people to go where they can be who they are and get help with like minded people while going through recovery is so important.
Tom, Ben, and Joyce talk about Joyces background and how she got involved in the community and recovery industry. Joyce shares some of the issues that are specific to clients at Inspire and why it is so important to find a peer group that they can trust. They talk about important aspects of recovery and how it specifically applies to this underserved community.
- [02:21] Joyce has been in recovery for 35 years. She was a gay activist during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
- [02:40] A lot of her friends passed away from AIDs. It was also hard for gay people with human rights issues.
- [03:01] She moved to Florida about 12 years ago. She discovered there were treatment centers all over the place. She wanted to do service and saw a gay guy getting bullied at an AA meeting.
- [03:50] She realized there were no treatment options specifically for people in the LGBTQ community. She opened Lambda North which was a 12-step clubhouse.
- [04:07] They have a lot of events for support and meetings.
- [04:20] Inspire Recovery in West Palm Beach is specifically for the LGBTQ community. Joyce helps educate people about issues related to the treatment facility.
- [05:34] People are housed at Inspire Recovery according to their personality, because they don’t see gender.
- [06:18] People fall in love at treatment centers all the time.
- [06:55] Most treatment centers are gender specific. Many treatment centers don’t know how to house transgender people, so there was a need for this specific treatment center.
- [08:26] They have created a community where people can get peer support and find sponsors and go through the Big Book and whatever things they need to do.
- [10:15] Everything operates like a regular treatment center. They just don’t separate clients by gender.
- [10:42] Most of the staff is under the LGBTQ umbrella and is in long-term recovery. Everyone can still use training.
- [13:18] The goal is to bring out the human factor in each person. They are just experts in the LGBTQ community and the transgender community.
- [15:44] A lot of the community hid their identity. It’s a lot easier for younger people to be who they are.
- [16:39] They also get clients in their 50s and 60s who have shame over their identity.
- [17:15] If a center isn’t a good fit, that person needs to be referred to a place that is a better fit.
- [19:08] At Inspire, they believe hormone replacement therapy is a human rights issue. They have created a safe place to explore.
- [21:32] The transgender community is a underserved population that has been marginalized all of their lives. Inspire is the only place that helps predominantly transgender people.
- [25:57] Groups at Inspire are centered around healing, trauma, and bullying.
- [26:57] People used to stay at Inspire for a year, now the program is two to three months.
- [28:16] Many people stay in the area after building a community and finding peers.
- [30:25] If you’re struggling with your sexual identity or gender identity and need a safe place, give inspire a call. They are open 24/7.
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