2017 WAVE Awards Spotlight: METRO Health, Wellness & Community Center

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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Celebrating its 25th year, METRO Health, Wellness & Community Center was named Tampa Bay’s Most Effective Local LGBTQ Organization.

“We’re very excited that this is our year,” says METRO CEO Lorraine Langlois, who has been with the organization for 22 years.

What started out as an HIV organization is now the largest LGBTQ employer in the area, with four locations: METRO Wellness in St. Petersburg, the community center in Ybor, METRO Thrift & Gift Shop and the LGBT Welcome Center.

“We employ 118 people,” Langlois says. “We serve about 15,000 folks with HIV and probably a few thousand more with the LGBTQ center and all the activities that go on in the Center.”

Langlois believes what makes METRO so effective is the people: the workers, all 118 of them. These employees are the backbone of the services offered.

“We’re really excited,” Langlois says. “I think it’s nice to be noticed. It’s nice that folks notice that what we do makes a difference.”

METRO has continued to build on the foundation of being an effective LGBTQ organization. Last year METRO was able to purchase their St. Pete location and is now in the process of expanding that location.

But no matter how much they grow, Langlois knows that the most important thing is those people that METRO is here to help.

“Thank you so much for the recognition,” Langlois says. “We’re really grateful for all who voted for us.”

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