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Kansas City anti-violence group opens rare center for LGBTQ

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A quiet office in a Kansas City entertainment district offers a rare space for LGBTQ people to find help in times of crisis and several other social services.

The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project recently opened the only domestic violence and sexual assault services center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Advocates say such centers are helpful to populations who are still misunderstood.

While the project does not provide overnight shelter for domestic violence victims, it will find hotels or other safe housing. It also provides a 24-hour crisis line and services such as clothing, food, job counseling and group meetings.

Executive Director Justin Shaw says project is a step forward in helping LGBTQ people but much more needs to be done.