The first goal of Latinos Salud has always been to make you feel at home and not at a clinic. Now they have a new home themselves.
After years of growth in community and need for services, they outgrew their spot on Wilton Drive and on May 19 took the public on a tour of their new location at 1401 NE 26th Street.
“Our grand opening was an amazing opportunity to re-engage in person as a group,” Executive Director Stephen Fallon said. “We saw friends from our early days on through to our newest members. Several staff members mentioned afterward how much they felt reinvigorated, feeling that bond to the community again.”
Despite the pandemic Latinos Salud continued its mission of serving the latinx community by providing full services including STD/HIV testing and counseling in a comfortable and timely manner.
But Fallon said the strain on their facilities was becoming evident.
“We’re able to serve walk-in clients faster than most clinics or agencies can serve their clients who have appointments,” he said. “But we have noticed our times are getting a bit longer than we’d like. We simply haven’t had enough rooms, or enough staff, to keep up with the demand for HIV testing, STD screening, and now our free PrEP services.”
The new location doubles the number of rooms to see clients, and across all their locations they are expanding staff by 25%.
As recognition of their efforts, the Wilton Manors Community Affairs Advisory Board honored them with the Community Spirit Award for Organization of the Year and named May 5 as Latinos Salud Day.
Latinos Salud has been around for about 12 years and has grown from a small “clubhouse” where Ethos restaurant now has its kitchen, to a large iconic building. When they opened their Wellness Clinic last year they knew a larger space would be needed sooner rather than later. In addition to helping more people free of charge, the clinic also made Latinos Salud eligible for more federal grants. That money was able to help secure the new 26th Street space without taking money set aside for helping clients.
“Over one-third of our clients come to us because of a referral from a friend who told them that this is a safe space, where they’ll be treated right,” Fallon said.
Latinos Salud’s new home means clients will feel right at home now more than ever.
“When community members come through our door, whether off the bus, out of their cars, or walking in, we want everyone to feel right at home, like they’re meeting a trusted friend for advice and connections,” he said.
To learn more about Latinos Salud, check out their website at latinossalud.org.