Awards & Recognition, In The Media

Program Director, Lex Soto – 2021 Gay City News Impact Award Honoree

The sixth annual Gay City News Impact Awards will be held virtually on November 11 at 7 p.m., marking the second straight year that we will gather for an online celebration recognizing exceptional LGBTQ trailblazers and supportive allies who have made a difference in our community.

Institute for Community Living

Lex Soto, Program Director

Institute for Community Living

Lex Soto is a non-profit leader who has dedicated their career to helping LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and mental health issues.

Lex is currently the program director at Institute for Community Living (ICL), where they run an Article 31 outpatient clinic serving 68 individuals living with severe mental health issues. In this position, Lex has worked to advocate for the needs of LGBTQ people and give them a voice in spaces where they are often dismissed.

Lex has also worked with the agency to create trainings and programs to educate folks on how to best provide services and care for LGBTQ individuals.

Lex has been driven to help others since high school, but the most significant motivating factor came when their best friend was kicked out of her house after coming out as lesbian to her parents. From that point forward, Lex embarked on a mission to create safe and equal spaces for LGBTQ people.

Lex went on to major in women’s studies at the University of California, Riverside, working as a peer mentor for LGBTQ students struggling with their identities. As an intern working with homeless LGBTQ youth through the Ali Forney Center, Lex assisted individuals in obtaining stable housing.

One day Lex hopes to open their own non-profit to help queer folks who are in crisis and need immediate services that are not necessarily available at traditional clinics.

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About Institute for Community Living

It is Institute for Community Living’s (ICL) mission to help New Yorkers with behavioral health challenges live healthy and fulfilling lives by providing comprehensive housing, health care, and recovery services. We take a trauma-informed approach—meeting the people we serve wherever they are, working together to support them in achieving their goals.

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