New recovery center helps close gap in care for LGBTQ+ people

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:35 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - True Colors is a new recovery organization and center in north Portland providing support and mentorship to an underserved population.

The center leaders said True Colors is meant to close a critical gap in care and resources in the state of Oregon.

Amanda Esquivel, Executive Director of True Colors, said she spent a long time running from herself.

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“I was running away from the person I was,” Esquivel said. “I didn’t feel safe or like I belonged.”

She said she spent 13 years hiding behind her addiction.

“I’ve been clean and sober for six years now, but before that my life looked completely different,” Esquivel said.

Serving time in prison was the wake-up call she needed.

“I got connected with a recovery community, and it was the acceptance from the community that made me want to stay in recovery,” Esquivel said.

Then she started an organization to pay it forward. True Colors partnered with 4D Recovery to open a new center to provide a safe space for those in the LGBTQ+ community suffering from substance abuse.

Tony Vezina, Executive Director of 4D Recovery, also knows firsthand the importance of peer support.

“Heroin addiction,” Vezina said. “I was homeless on the streets of Portland.”

SEE ALSO: Portland woman in recovery shares why she carries naloxone

He said recovery is about hope.

“When people are in the depths of their despair, they need hope, that’s what motivates them to struggle and fail and to try and try again,” Vezina said.

The center’s leadership said their mentorship model is really tailored to the individual.

“Whether that be getting a driver’s license, getting into housing, or long-term goals like getting into school or getting a career,” Vezina said.

They hope this approach will mean more lives changed.

“Realize recovery is possible and it happens all the time,” Vezina said.

The center has been able to open its doors thanks to funding from Care Oregon. They will begin offering services on Saturday and will be open 365 days a year.