ACR Health opens new Watertown facilities

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WATERTOWN — ACR Health held a grand opening Friday at its new site at 210 Court St., which will offer support for a variety of people.

The nonprofit organization aims to help people make informed health decisions and “create healthy communities” by providing services free of charge. Services include insurance navigation, testing for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, health care management, prevention and education services, and the Q Center for LGBTQ+ youth and allies.

Hilary Avallone, program supervisor for the Q Center, said the opening was “amazing” and she hopes the space is used by all young people who need it. She wants the center to be a place for local LGBTQ+ young people to “learn and feel safe and comfortable and be able to explore” who they are and know that they are not alone.

“This is something I’ve worked on really for the last eight years and really advocated for the need to have our own space,” she said. “I feel really proud. This is an amazing turnout, and the fact that we are so visible is great.”

The Q Center is open from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays for drop-in time and from 2:30 to 4:45 p.m. Thursdays. Groups for 13- to 18-year-olds are from 4:45 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays and groups for 18- to 25-year-olds are from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays.

John Shaw McNeely, CEO of Shaw Harbor Holdings and founder of the Shaw Harbor Foundation of the Northern New York Community Foundation, said he decided to start the Harbor Foundation to benefit students and the community. The donation to the Q Center is an extension of that benefit that supports young people and allows them to “come together and figure out their identity and what they want to do with life.”

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