Photo Credit: Jay Hanley
On February 1st the Seattle Area Support Groups and Community Center, or SASG, moved from its previous space at 115 15th Ave. E. to its new location on Bellevue Ave., between Pine and Pike. SASG moved to their 15th Ave. E. space in late 2015; their former home at The Dunshee House was razed for rowhouses in June 2017. With the move, SASG has decided to change their name to Peer Seattle, and when asked why, their Operations Manager said that it would make it easier for the nonprofit to expand into other cities such as Peer Tacoma, Peer Bothell, or elsewise.
SASG was founded in 1984, and was originally called Seattle AIDS Support Group before the name was changed to better reflect the diversity of their services. Their most recent move was deemed necessary because they were packed to the walls with members and needed more space, and the downstairs neighbor, Board and Vellum, needed more space as well. The break from the Kaiser Permanente campus on Capitol Hill has involved other changes as well. Last year, the nonprofit was forced to discontinue its annual Christmas tree fundraiser, which was a standing 28-year tradition. It held its first tree sale fundraiser in 1990.
Peer Seattle is a space where LGBT people and allies can meet to discuss issues around addiction and mental health in a low-key and supportive setting. There is room for those who just want someone to talk to. People can see a peer counselor or be a part of a group meeting – or both. Peer Seattle regularly provides HIV testing and employment support, and they also host game nights on Fridays at 7pm. Additionally, there is Hepatitis C testing on Friday, April 19th from 6-8 PM. They’re also giving away Naloxone overdose kits and other gear, as well as Safeway gift cards (with test results). They are looking for front desk greeters or group facilitators if that is something that interests you, and also always welcome donations. Check them out on their new website at www.peerseattle.org.