Cathy Reback

Dr. Cathy Reback and FCC Recognized as a CPDD Community Champion

FRI is pleased to announce that Dr. Cathy Reback, along with all of Friends Community Center, is recognized as one of CPDD’s (College on Problems of Drug Dependence) first Community Champions. CPDD defines Community Champions as members who are dedicated to enriching their communities, whether related to Substance Use Disorder science or any form of community service.

Friends Community Center (FCC), a division of Friends Research Institute, was founded by Dr. Cathy Reback to provide service delivery and community-based participatory research to sexual minority men (SMM), transgender women, and other gender-expansive individuals living with or at risk of HIV infection in Los Angeles County. The primary objective of FCC is to reduce HIV transmission and acquisition and the risks that can result from substance use. FCC is purposely located on the border of Hollywood and West Hollywood, at the hub of the drug use and sex work district (i.e., “the boulevard”), where SMM and trans women congregate. FCC serves highly impacted SMM and trans individuals experiencing multiple health disparities, two extremely marginalized key populations, and has developed a comprehensive continuum of culturally consonant research studies and service programs for these populations. Most participants actively use substances, engage in exchange sex, have repeated long- and short-term cycles of incarceration, are experiencing unstable housing and food scarcity, have untreated substance use and/or mental health disorder(s), and approximately 80% identify as a BIPOC individual. FCC provides a full spectrum of HIV and substance use programs for treatment seeking and out-of-treatment SMM and trans individuals who use substances from low-intensity street- and venue-based outreach and health education/risk reduction services to case management and high-intensity outpatient methamphetamine use treatment. Additionally, a warm “home cooked” meal is served daily to all FCC participants.