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  CENTER OF GRAVITY

UPDATED: LGBT Centers Help More Than 1.7 Million People Every Year

A new report provides vital, if incomplete, information about the nation’s LGBT community centers.

Conducted by Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and CenterLink, a community  advocacy group, the survey found that the centers served a total of 33,000 people a week—or 1.7 million folks a year.

Typically, visitors are of color, male, transgender, and lower-income.

Of the centers’ $49.6 million combined operating budget, 27% comes from federal grants, 12% from state grants and 7% from local grants—and it’s usually money earmarked for HIV/AIDS-related programming.

It’s not all rosy, though: 200 LGBT community centers were contacted but only 79 responded. Though the expenses of the ones that did respond represented 83% of the  combined expenses for all centers, that means that more than half didn’t have it together enough to reply. “The survey is a time commitment when you look at the breadth of the report,” MAP’s Naomi Goldberg told South Florida Gay News. “For centers that don’t have the budget to have full-time employees, it’s hard to find the time to complete the survey.” About 1 in 5 centers were run completely by volunteers.

How much do you use your local LGBT Community Center? Share in the comments section.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story suggested LGBT centers had a significant budget shortfall nationwide. This was based on incorrect reported information. We regret the error.

Source: MAP via South Florida Gay News


 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jul 19, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 7 Comments
    • Stephanie Cox
      Stephanie Cox

      The Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, California provides services and safe space to queer youth, seniors, hiv+ people, people with addiction or mental health diagnoses, and pretty much anyone who enters the door. The LGBTQI community benefits, as does the community at large. And yet, grants and donations are down compared to years past. Especially in this economy, support your local LGBT center. It really matters.

      Jul 19, 2012 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      It’s been weeks since the Bronx Pride Center was shut down due to a former director embezzling and pilfering it’s funds. Yet Queerty has mad no mention of it, even after I emailed the links from the NYPost’s articles about it. That story goes hand in hand with this one. Why has there been no mention?

      Jul 19, 2012 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kay M.
      Kay M.

      As the new Social Media intern for the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective in Hartford, CT, we not only provide health services for the HIV/AIDS community, but a safe space for LGBT youth and many different support groups. Just this past year, grants were minimized, so my support will continue to grow in the coming months for sure! I just hope others out there support their local LGBT health centers too.

      Jul 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joaqin
      Joaqin

      To be fair, they are not “LGBT” Centers. There is no such thing as LGBT. Also, transgenders do not pay for any of these centers. They are all funded by LGB money. We generously allow trans people to use the facilities that we pay for, just as we allow other straight people to come and use them.

      Jul 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • William Turner
    • Kim Fountain
      Kim Fountain

      Thank you for covering the MAP LGBT Centers report. RU12? Community Center in VT, where I am the Executive Director, took part in the survey. While I am pleased that you quoted Naomi Goldberg, your use of the phrase ‘didn’t have it together enough to reply’ to describe centers that did not submit surveys, reads more like sensationalistic reporting than responsible reporting. The report is extraordinarily important but it also takes significant amount of resources to complete and as Goldberg mentioned, most volunteer run centers are hard pressed to come up with the time and the staff to complete the survey. Many of these small centers opened because they saw a local need. Between working their day jobs and trying to make certain that the LGBTQ elders in their area have access to food, filling out the survey, again, as important as it is, may not be an option. We need to do what we can to nurture these centers, not knock them down.

      @Joaqin-I have worked in two LGBTQ Centers and let me assure you, transgender individuals do pay for our centers. You are not being fair at all. I have received an incredible amount of financial support from the transgender communities in both urban and rural areas. I have no idea where you got your information but it is wrong. Further, your use of the term, ‘other straight people’ clearly shows that you do not understand trans folks. And, something your post implies that is also incorrect is that straight people do not provide support. Here in VT, a very large percentage of our donors are heterosexually identified cis gender people.

      Jul 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      There are many groups that operate as community centers that aren’t per se and could use all the volunteers and help they can get if you look at sites like http://www.gaycommunitycenters.org

      Jul 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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