Persad is founded Dr. James Huggins and Randall Forrester in response to the demand for specialized, nondiscriminatory services expressed by LGBT individuals through an underground Pittsburgh gay hotline. The hotline was originally established to provide LGBT people with information regarding safe places to meet one another, and as a communication network to make LGBT people aware of happenings in the community.
The name PERSAD was chosen by merging the words “personal” and “adjustment”. The agency was established by a board of directors formed at a meeting that took place at Calvary Episcopal Church and included among its members two clergy, a University of Pittsburgh Social Work Professor and a physician who all recognized the need for this unique agency.
Today, Persad is the nation’s second oldest licensed mental health center specifically created to serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. On March 23, 2015, the organization opened its doors in Lawrenceville, taking over a newly designed 11,500-square-foot space.