The Springfield Phoenix Center: A Photographic Experience

You’ve passed it hundreds of times; everyone who lives in Springfield has. Right on the precipice of downtown Springfield and the medical district, the Springfield Phoenix Center – of which services all of Central Illinois – is a relatively plain, red brick building; it is the rainbow imposed on the wall and the “PHOENIX” sign that alert your senses quickly that this is no plain, red brick building, however.

It is a brick building housing in it, dreams of innovation. Dr. Jonna Cooley – whom WMAY also got to interview – Sara Bowen-Lasisi, and the rest of the remarkable staff of the Phoenix Center wish to impact those individuals in the LGBTQAI+ community, struggling with acceptance, discrimination and any other of the various issues that can plague any human life.

As each noted to WMAY during our conversations with each, they also wish to make the lives of those that use drugs less abusive and difficult; certainly not criminalized, but treated with real humane empathy and compassion. There are just two of the larger missions of which the Phoenix Center undertakes to achieve every day.

When WMAY spoke with both Director Cooley and Assistant Director Bowen-Lasisi, the drive and determination that they emanated was truly inspiring; WMAY, however, could not help but be enamored by the Springfield headquarters itself as well.

It is a space that speaks of purpose, of passion, and of pride. There are no judgments passed in the walls of the Phoenix Center – the staff only wishes to make a positive impact upon the entire community, by assisting those portions of the greater community which need support the most at this juncture.

WMAY couldn’t help ourselves; our camera was clicking away as we chatted and got to see the lay of the land, and we thought that – to accompany the other work that we are doing to highlight the efforts that institutions like the Phoenix Center, Heartland Continuum of Care, the Helping Hands of Springfield, as well as the various food pantries of the city are doing – a photographic tour of the center might illustrate the vibrancy and love that the center works tirelessly to produce each day of every year!

  • The outside of the lovely Phoenix Center in Springfield!

  • You can’t hardly miss it on E Lawrence Ave; it’s always seemingly busy in some manner!

  • Instructions exist so as to assist those who wish for assistance in some manner…

  • Knowledge is, after all, power in so many senses.

  • Signed from Springfield Pridefest 2022

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  • It takes so many hardworking folks to keep the Phoenix Center of Springfield going – including food prep and so much more!

  • Sometimes, you can find wisdom all around you if you keep your eyes peeled…

  • Some of the art work created by the LGBTQAI+ youth group members which utilize the center as a safe space to be who and as they are..

  • …their table is as expressive as the walls!!!

  • There is – to be sure – fun at every turn!

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  • Lisa’s Closet exists to help individuals find the styles and fashions that they feel comfortable in, in a comfortable, positive and encouraging setting.

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  • Even walk-up medical work and discussions can be had at the Phoenix Center – offering real help to those across Springfield and Central Illinois that need the assistance most!

  • Who doesn’t like a bit of breakfast?!

  • The Narcan cabinet in the back of Phoenix Center – open for illustration – and available for free to anyone; having it can save lives!

  • The Narcan box closed – so everyone knows what it will look like should they come across one!

  • Plus, the marvelous mutual-assistance, harm reduction vending machine; it does require a code, but that is easily obtainable from the Phoenix Center!

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  • Assistant Director of the Phoenix Center Sara Bowen-Lasisi was wonderful enough to take WMAY on a tour of the Phoenix Center, and to sit with us afterward for a chat!

  • We thank her and the entire Phoenix Center for their time and hard work and communal dedication!

Region: Springfield,Local,City: Springfield,Region: Central

via Local – 92.7 WMAY

April 2, 2023 at 10:39PM

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