Resilience Resource Center in Huntingdon Valley is more than a therapy suite

The logo for Resilience Resource Center, which shows a colorful bird about the organization's name, is featured next to a photo of their office space. The photo shows a casual room that's set up to look like a living space -- with a table and chairs, comfortable couches, and other amenities.
Logo for Resilience Resource Room featured next to the a photo of the organization's space.

“It was a really isolating experience because you really didn’t know where to go, who to talk to, who you can trust,” said Joseph Torre about being gay as a young person before the time of social media or more open dialogues about queer identity.

His memories of feeling isolated and alone growing up guided him as he co-founded Resilience Resource Center in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania — where LGBTQ+ people living in Montgomery County and adjacent areas can access not only traditional therapy and weekly support groups but also career counseling, style advice, art events, peer connections and other touch points to the queer community.

“We heal in relationship,” he underlined. “The community is the cure. We’re just the facilitators of that.”

Torre, who is 68 years old and identifies as a queer elder, said one thing this emerging community does well is listen to each other. There are a variety of opportunities for intergenerational connections where youth, adults and older people learn together and from one another.

“As part of the Resilience Resource Center, we all function as community members,” said Torre about the way people collaborate to create programs and offerings that are truly wanted and needed. This contrasts other “top-down” structures, in which a group of organizers or leaders make decisions for the community.

“We don’t own this,” Torre said, echoing the concept that guides the way the organization functions.

Those who gather at Resilience Resource Center are empowered to cultivate the space alongside its board members, who Torre said are all LGBTQ+ people themselves and are members of the center’s community.

Torre, a licensed therapist who provides counseling services through the organization, is strongly influenced by the positive psychology movement and research on resilience.

“There’s more than one reason why a person isn’t thriving in their life,” he said, which is why the organization has integrated seemingly unrelated services and support groups into a space that is otherwise dedicated to bolstering mental health. That’s because all of these aspects of life are connected. Torre said that identifying and providing tools to help people navigate their unique and specific challenges — which can help them bounce back from the impacts of adversity — is just as important as making space for them to discuss traumas.

“We started with a basic understanding of what we wanted to do and then just asked people what else they needed,” he said, noting that frequent check-ins with the community help them learn about what’s missing from existing programming and events that would help them thrive. For instance, getting support with clothing helps people show up in the world with more confidence.

“What we do now is all through volunteered time,” he said, explaining that any therapy or coaching services come at low-cost or no-cost to those who seek services because providers aren’t charging for their labor.

Any funds raised by the organization off-set infrastructural operating costs (like paying bills) — but Torre hopes the group will eventually receive funding to pay service providers. This would allow the organization to continue offering no-cost services without requiring providers to volunteer their time. It would also make space to see more clients.

The organization is nearing its one-year anniversary but has only been in a physical location since October 2023. That’s because board members were careful and intentional while seeking a space to rent. It’s a flex-use space that Torre said allows them to shift for the needs of each program.

“It looks like your living room really,” he said, noting that there’s an area with a table and chairs to play games, a desk with public computers, a TV for streaming and video games, and a few sofas to sit and chat.

Resilience Resource Center is hosting its first open house, which is also a fundraiser, on Sunday, May 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. An auction will showcase local artists — including some of the center’s youth —- as well as gift baskets, attraction tickets, and gift cards. Young people can connect while making a craft. Discussion groups will explore the topic of resilience, and attendees can attend information sessions about career and youth programming.

“We’re trying to let the community know we’re here,” said Torre about the event, which he hopes will make the Resilience Resource Center more visible to the broader community. He hopes to meet LGBTQ+ people who don’t yet know much about the space but also hopes allies will visit to learn how they can better support the local queer community.

“To dispel a rumor, we are not meant to be individuals,” Torre laughed. “We’re not born that way. We’re born to be in community. We’re wired that way.”

“We need to recognize that we do need each other, and we need to support each other,” he underlined.

Resilience Resource Center (2337 Philmont Ave, Suite 102 in Huntingdon Valley, PA)will host an open house and fundraiser from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. To RSVP, visit

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