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East Village Gets Free Therapy

Free advice 2Gabbi Lewin

The sign read, “Free advice from Francisco: Relationships, Sex & Dating.”

Spotted at the foot of the East Village near Astor Place, Francisco Ramirez sits face-to-face with anyone who wants to take a seat. For three years, Ramirez has been offering advice on relationships, sex and dating for no charge (no donations are accepted either). He views this opportunity as an innovative method to provide a public service to a diverse audience—including sexual partners, individuals and the homeless. He told me that this is his opportunity in life to connect with people. He offers everyone the same educated responses on how to stay healthy as those who would often pay high prices might receive.

With a Master in Public Health, concentrating in sexuality & health from Columbia University, he provides well-researched information. This community-based educator doesn’t stay in one place either, offering his free services every weekend, whether it is in Washington Square Park or Union Square. Ramirez is also a global consultant for HIV and sexual health at the United Nations and a contributor to MTV’s “Staying Alive” campaign, continuing his 15-year dedication to the education of public and sexual health issues.

It is becoming more and more rare these days to find anyone with as many credentials as he has offering his time and expertise free. Find out where Francisco will be next, or write to him at his website. Better still, just stumble across him on the streets when you have something on your mind.