My name is Jayden LeBlanc (he/him) and I am a co-founder of Peter's Place RVA. I serve as the President of the Board of Directors. As a person in the LQBTQIA+ and recovery communities, I have first-hand knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing LGBTQIA+ folx seeking sober living and recovery support. I have a background in management, as well as experience in board structures.
I have personally seen folx get turned away at recovery housing due to their gender identity and expression. We have, as a community, often scrambled to find somewhere to temporarily place folx seeking sober living and recovery, in hopes of finding a better solution. They often do not make it. I had the benefit of not needing sober housing myself. I cannot imagine trying to scramble for safe housing based on my gender identity, in addition to getting and staying sober. One of those alone is an enormous task. I also was fortunate to be able to piece together a network of people and resources that I needed for my own well-being. My hope is to make piecing together that network of resources more accessible and equitable. That equity starts with safe sober housing.
I believe strongly in taking solution-based actions. We all bring tools and resources to the table. I have seen what it looks like when a network of resources works together to help lift someone out of the darkness and light the way. It is only then when one can say whether or not they are willing to walk the path, whatever that looks like for them. How does one walk down a path they cannot see? Someone else must, through experience, light the way.